KA Petra, a Malaysian ship-to-ship (STS) transfer specialist, has signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with Hutchison Port Holdings to jointly develop the world’s largest STS transfer hub in the country.

Under the terms of the HOA, KA Petra will have 70% interest in the project, whilst Hutchison Ports will take a strategic 30% stake.

Based on preliminary studies, construction of the STS Hub is estimated to cost USD150 million to USD180 million, and will be funded by a combination of internally generated funds and debt financing. Construction will be done in phases with commencement within the next 12 months.

Dato’ Shahrul Amirul, Executive Chairman of KA Petra Sdn Bhd said, “We embarked on the STS Hub idea 2 years ago, and through the grace and assistance from the Government of Malaysia, our partner Hutchison Ports, our engineering and technical partners, and our very own KA Petra team, we are now realising the STS Hub dream.”

Shahrul commented that the STS Hub will have the capacity to store over 9 million metric tons of petroleum products, and with the International Maritime Organisation implementing IMO 2020, a regulation limiting sulphur content in marine fuels, from 1st January 2020, the STS Hub will be well positioned to become a major trading hub in the region.

The STS Hub is KA Petra’s flagship project and will be located in the Johor Bahru Port waters spanning an area of 2,800 acres. The STS Hub will be able to accommodate 31 berths, making it the largest in the world and will be the first fully dedicated STS transfer facility in the world.

The STS Hub will utilise a state-of-the-art dolphin mooring and berthing concept which will allow the berthing of vessels for the transfer of liquid cargo such as Crude Oil, Fuel Oil, Gas Oil, LNG or other petroleum-based products.