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In the heartland of Malaysia’s shipbuilding / ship repairing industry

Visit to Sibu, Sarawak

 13 February 2015

Sibu, the fourth largest city in Sarawak with a population of approximately 250,000 is at the heartland of Malaysia’s shipbuilding / ship repairing industry.  The establishment of the industry, dominated by the town’s ethnic Fuchow community, can be traced back to around 100 years ago during the time of steam ships …

The city boasts around 40 shipyards big and small, some which have been in the business for decades.  They provide the backbone of Sarawak’s marine transportation which is crucial in facilitating the flow of trade and people throughout its hinterland through its extensive riverine system.  The shipyards produce a wide range of vessels including anchor handlers, OSV, tugboats, ferries and barges which are crucial to Sarawak’s social and economic well being.

17 of the biggest Sibu-based shipyards are located in Rantau Panjang by Sungai Rajang, an area designated by the Sarawak state government in 2003 as a cluster for the industry.  These include established and up and coming players such as Yong Chui Kui, Far East, TuongAik,  GimHwak, Fulsail, Eastern Marine, Vitawani and SL Shipbuilding which are all AMIM members.