Fresh from an endorsement by the government with the granting of approval for capacity expansion, Malaysian port operator Westports Holdings is expected to invest up to MYR10bn ($2.3bn) to double its capacity.

Westports is reportedly considering debt capital market options such as sukuk and other forms of borrowing to finance the expansion as well as using internally-generated funds, local media reported.

Westports said in a stock market announcement that it had secured approval-in-principle from the Malaysian government for the expansion of its container terminal facilities.

The development of CT10 to CT19 will enable it to handle up to 30m teu a year by 2040 and will ensure that Port Klang keeps up with the planned consolidation and expansion of Singapore’s ports in Tuas as well as maintaining its lead against other planned terminals in Indonesia.

The proposed expansion of an additional 10 terminals is an extension of Westports’ current CT1 to CT9 development. The first phase of the development will be undertaken from 2019 to 2024.

“While the terms and conditions for Westports’ expansion are to be further discussed with the government, the plan could cost the port operator as much as MYR10bn,” a source was quoted as saying, adding that the cost for the first phase of CT10 to CT19 development is targeted at MYR2bn.

Westports ceo Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said the expansion would further strengthen Port Klang as the pre-eminent port for the nation’s gateway trade as well as a transhipment hub in the region.

“The approval also reflects the government’s commitment to prioritise Port Klang as the load centre of Malaysia,” he noted.