Officials and guests attend the inaugural foundation laying ceremony of Melacca Gateway Port in Melacca, Malaysia, Oct. 19, 2016. (Xinhua/Chong Voon Chung)
MALACCA, Malaysia, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Three Chinese companies joined hands on Wednesday to help a Malaysian company build a new deep sea port in the Strait of Malacca.
The deep sea port, part of a grander 30 billion-ringgit (7.2 billion U.S. dollars) Melaka Gateway Project, is estimated to cost around eight billion ringgit and will be built with the help of PowerChina International, Shenzhen Yantian Port Group and Rizhao Port Group.
It is expected to be completed by 2019.
KAJ Development, the Malaysian company, said in a press release that the port is designed as a liquid cargo terminal, which will have storage facilities for liquid cargo, including petroleum, chemical products and vegetable oil.
Photo taken on Oct. 19, 2016 shows the Melacca Gateway Port in Melacca, Malaysia. (Xinhua/Chong Voon Chung)
With a deep waterway of 25 to 30 meters, the port will be "an ideal choice for a deep sea port facility," said KAJ Development.
A foundation laying ceremony was also held on the day, with both Malaysia's minister of transport Liow Tiong Lai and China's ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang in attendance.
"On an annual basis, over nearly 100,000 vessels ply the Strait of Malacca as its strategic location as part of east-west maritime gateway. Clearly, there is significant opportunity and potential for growth," said Liow, adding the project was in accordance with the Belt and Road initiative put forward by China.
Wang Bin, a senior manager of PowerChina International, said that considering the several visits of Admiral Zheng He to Malacca in the Ming Dynasty, building a sea port here is not only for economic returns, but also an inheritance of historic legacy.