zoom Malaysian port operator Westports Holdings Bhd said that the first phase of the expansion of its container terminal facilities has started operations with the addition of four new 52-metre high ship-to-shore cranes and six rubber tyred gantry cranes.When completed, the operator’s CT8 expansion project, which is expected to cost a total of MYR 1.1 billion (USD 270.6 million), would increase Westports’ total container terminal handling capacity to 13.5 million TEUs.The new facilities would feature an extended contiguous linear berth of 5.2 kilometers and will therefore be able to support requirements “of new and larger shipping alliances from 2017 onwards,” Westports chief executive officer, Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, said.The operator reported a 31 percent increase in its net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, due to a rise in container volumes.Namely, Westports’ net profit jumped during the three-month period to MYR 159.9 million (USD 39.3 million) from last year’s MYR 122.1 million (USD 30 million), while the port’s net profit for the first half of 2016 went up by 37 percent or MYR 88.6 million when compared to 2015.During the first half of the year, Westports handled 4.9 million TEUs. The port’s transhipment container volumes increased to 3.6 million TEUs, while gateway container numbers reached 1.3 million TEUs.Westports’ quarterly revenue climbed to MYR 522.6 million from MYR 405.3 million, bringing the total revenue for the first half of 2016 to MYR 987.3 million.
“The people of South Sudan were yearning for peace and our President took the courageous step with the help of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and others…to sign on 26 August 2015 a Peace Agreement with the rebel leadership to silence the guns and end the war, he said.That signature was immediately followed by the President’s declaration of Permanent Ceasefire in the following day, he announced during the 70th annual General Debate.Yet, he said that the ceasefire is currently only holding in some parts of the country. This is mainly due to the absence of a Joint Monitoring and Verification Mechanism being installed on the ground.Mr. Igga also said that peace and security is the “paramount responsibility” of the Government. He also added that there are ongoing investigations on reports of human rights abuses by elements associated with our security institutions. “Committing crimes against the people we govern, or violation of human rights, has never and shall never be condoned by our Government. Promoting and protecting the safety of persons, family and community and their physical and social wellbeing is a duty that we take more seriously. We will not allow impunity to reign,” he stated.He further asked for sanctions and travel restrictions on South Sudanese officials to be lifted and urged the international community to extend their support in order to cement its peace and stability. “More than any other time in our conflict riddled history, the upcoming post-conflict imperatives of resettlement, rehabilitation, and disarmament require concerted financial and technical intervention from our many good friends around the world,” he said. “South Sudan is very resilient and its future is certainly full of hope particularly with all your assistance and cooperation, but it should not be subjected to undeserved isolation and sanctions, given its level of fragility as a new country,” he added.