08/06/2016 - 05:33

WA link to Sumatran port

08/06/2016 - 05:33

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A Perth-based port management company has forged ties with Indonesia’s South Sumatra province, striking an agreement to work on the development of a new port.

CLOSE TIES: Michael Edwards (left) and Adam McPhail say the new port will be a positive step for the provincial government. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A Perth-based port management company has forged ties with Indonesia’s South Sumatra province, striking an agreement to work on the development of a new port.

Oropesa Port Management chief executive Michael Edwards signed a memorandum of understanding last week with Yaniarsyah Hasan, the president director of state-owned mining and energy company PDPDE.

South Sumatra governor Alex Noerdin witnessed the MOU signing in Perth, and later met with WA governor Kerry Sanderson.

Oropesa chief operating officer Adam McPhail said the MOU marked a major opportunity, and came after 18 months of work and several visits to the provincial capital of Palembang.

Captain McPhail believes Oropesa won support because it took the time to understand the needs of the provincial government, which is keen to support development of a special economic zone.

While other groups had promoted the idea of building a large, deep-sea port, Captain McPhail said a smaller development was more appropriate as a first step.

“They need infrastructure they can use and maintain in a sustainable manner,” he said.

Indonesian consul general Ade Padmo Sarwono said local engagement was one of the strengths of Oropesa’s plan.

“They are willing to support training and capacity building for the people of South Sumatra,” he told Business News.

Indonesia is hosting a business summit and trade fair in Perth in November to boost links.

“I wish there was more engagement by WA businesses with Indonesia,” Mr Sarwono said.

The MOU signing coincided with Oropesa being awarded a contract to develop marine safety, oil spill contingency and incident management plans for WA ports.

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