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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Business Times
 Rising palm oil exports a boon to Pasir Gudang port

2/5/07 (Business Times)  - HOUSTON: The port of Pasir Gudang is expected to post steady annual growth of 7 per cent to 10 per cent from its palm exports, a port official said on Monday.

Pasir Gudang exported about 11 million tonnes of palm oil last year, Khalid Selamat, assistant general manager at Johor Port Authority, said on the sidelines of the 25th IAPH World Ports Conference held in Houston.

The port has a maximum liquid bulk and break bulk capacity of 40 million tonnes a year, but the utilisation was pegged at about 32 million tonnes last year.

"There is not much space for expansion at Pasir Gudang," he said, adding that the strongest export growth at the port was from palm oil.

"Palm oil exports are growing because there is a strong demand for biodiesel," Khalid said.

Malaysia is the largest palm oil producer in the world, supplying about 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the market demand.

Pasir Gudang handles about 800,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers a year even though it has a maximum capacity of one million TEUs, he said.

Pasir Gudang is the smaller container port in Johor, which is also the home to the larger Tanjung Pelepas container port.

Tanjung Pelepas port, which has a container handling capacity of 4.5 million TEUs, competes with the neighbouring port of Singapore.

The conference ends on Friday. - Reuters

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