Dysfunctional luffing cranes cause Pertama Ferroalloys demurrage worth USD4.2 million

Credit Source: Dayak Daily (D’Drift Team, 2023)
Nakamura (left) briefing Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development II Dato Majang Renggi during the latter’s working visit to Pertama plant at Samalaju Industrial Park today (July 10, 2022).

By D’Drift Team

BINTULU, July 10: The three dysfunctional luffing cranes at the Samalaju Port have caused Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd (Pertama) demurrage of USD4.2 million from Jan 22 to June 22, 2022.

It is thus the hope of the general manager of Pertama, Yuki Nakamura, that the three cranes be fixed as soon as possible to stop the bleeding.

The cranes have been broken since two years ago. However, the situation was complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic, where fixing has been delayed. This posed a major challenge faced by Pertama, the first ferroalloy plant set up in Malaysia.

Incorporated in 2010 with an initial investment capital of USD480 million and operating since 2016, Pertama is currently held by Asia Mineral Ltd (60 per cent), Nippon Denko Corporation Ltd (25 per cent), Carbon Capital Corporation Sdn Bhd (eight per cent) and Shinsho Corporation (17 per cent).

Its eight furnaces and one sinter plant at Samalaju Industrial Park produce 150,000 tonnes of manganese ferroalloy, 60,000 tonnes of silicon ferroalloy and 200,000 to 250,000 tonnes of sintered manganese ore each year.

For such a production, Pertama consumes 135 to 140 megawatts of energy worth RM25 million per month.

Apart from the port issue, the lack of street lighting and uneven road surface with potholes is another challenge faced by Pertama.

Internet coverage is another concern for the multinational company, which had noticed that the signal in Samalaju is unstable and weak. In addition, the coverage between Samalaju and Bintulu is also found to be insufficient.

However, the various issues did not deter Pertama from further expanding its operations by building two more furnaces, which Nakamura hoped would be completed by 2024 and proceed into the third phase of expansion by setting up a new plant in 2026.

So far, Pertama’s investment in its Samalaju facility has reached RM3 billion.

From 2017 to 2021, the company has been in the red.

“The sixth financial year as of March 2022 started to show a profit of RM350 million. This is the first time we made a profit,” said Nakamura, who projected a positive prospect of breaking even after another five years. — DayakDaily