By Jailani Hasan
LABUAN, Nov 16 -- Kiamsam is poised to be a new economic growth catalyst for Labuan as Malaysia's largest offshore support vessel (OSV) builder Nam Cheong Dockyard Sdn Bhd will invest RM60 million to turn the existing Labuan Halal Hub Complex there into a shipyard.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said the new shipbuilding sector was expected to generate employment for more than 1,500 people and help produce skilled workers over the long run through a training centre to be built at the complex.
“It is an initiative from Labuan Corporation, which tendered out the complex to potential bidders through a request for proposals (RFP) in June this year… and Nam Cheong had given us the better RFP,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Labuan Corporation and Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Nam Cheong Dockyard for Nam Cheong to take over the 7.3-hectare complex and a briefing from Nam Cheong chief executive officer Leong Seng Keat.
A definitive agreement is expected to be inked by year-end.
Nam Cheong Dockyard, the principal operating subsidiary of Singapore-listed Nam Cheong Ltd, will move its existing fabrication and ship building-related activities in Batam, Indonesia, and China to Labuan beginning Jan 1 next year.
Khalid said the Labuan Halal Hub Complex, with its existing warehouse facilities as well as logistic support, is located by the seaside and is strategically positioned for a shipbuilding industry.
“Nam Cheong, being a Malaysian company with a global reputation in shipbuilding, should be given the chance to relocate its business activities to Labuan.
“We hope it will help to improve the local economy and the people’s wellbeing, as this (shipbuilding) sector will come alongside Labuan's heavily-depended-on oil and gas sector,” he said.