News Release

26th September 2000

Hutchison Port Holdings Acquires 30% Stake of Westport Holdings


[HONG KONG – 26th September 2000] Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) has acquired a 30% stake in Westport, Port Klang.

Both HPH and Westport Holdings have expressed their enthusiasm about the deal and the prospects for developing the port into a highly competitive facility.

The Group Managing Director of HPH, Mr John Meredith said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to participate in the future growth of the Malaysian economy. We are excited about the prospects ahead for Westport and we look forward to using our combined expertise and resources to develop Westport into a world-class operation.”

The Chairman of Westport Holdings, Dato’ Nik Ibrahim said, “We look forward to working with our partner to expand Westport into a megahub centre providing efficient and reliable deepwater berthing and handling services second to none in the region. Westport will be able to tap into markets that were previously far beyond its reach. The opportunity for expansion is boundless.”

“A strategic partnership with HPH will give us access to technology, IT systems and productivity ratios at 18 ports throughout the world. HPH owns ports in Myanmar, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, the Americas, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. We have so many common shipping lines that call these ports and they will welcome the benefits of similar IT systems, operating procedures, terminology and productivity.”

“Shipping is a global business and the keenness in international competition has forced shipping lines to merge for economic survival. Managing terminals has also become a global activity and hence strategic partnerships are a necessity and an opportunity for smaller ports to add value and enhance their intrinsic position.”

Westport staff have recently visited Marseilles, Malta, Pusan, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Jakarta and Bangladesh, both to study and be aware of MLO strategies and issues at these ports. The link-up with HPH will have the further advantage of enabling Westport staff to gain experience at HPH’s 18 ports around the world.

Westport is an integrated port situated on 520 hectares of waterfront land with terminal handling facilities for containers, dry bulk, liquid bulk and other conventional cargo at Port Klang, Malaysia’s premier port. Strategically positioned in the Straits of Malacca, Westport with its deep water facilities at the doorstep of Malaysia’s largest and most concentrated industrial region is set to become a major load center in South East Asia.

Westport, which has recorded growth averaging 126% since it began container handling operations in 1996, is now implementing a berth expansion scheme which will result in a total of 7 container berths by the end of 2001.

Westport’s overall development scheme calls for a further 3600 metres of container berths and back-up area to be developed, creating a total of 18 container berths.

Break bulk, dry bulk and liquid bulk berths and handling facilities will also be expanded to increase present annual handling capacity of 7.4 million tonnes of cargo to an impressive 17 million tonnes in roughly 5 years’ time.