The Malaysian Palm Oil Association – Sabah (MPOA-Sabah) is appealing to the Sabah Port Authority (SPA) and other state authorities to allow the plantation companies’ private jetties to reopen so they can ship out their oil palm products.
MPOA-Sabah said the jetties are used to shift their fresh fruit bunches, crude palm oil and kernel and the closure, as stated in a letter circular by SPA dated April 17, was hampering their shipments.
It came to understand all the appeal letters have been received by SPA and it had since forwarded the appeals to the State Covid Command Centre for further consideration.
“It is important to appreciate that the jetties are dedicated for oil palm products and not for use by people.
“MPOA (Sabah) would also welcome any additional and relevant guidelines to enhance the SOPs for managing the jetties to starve Covid-19, ” it said.
It said there are more than 16 private jetties currently operated by the plantation companies in Sabah for shipping the palm oil products from one point to another point of the supply chain.
It also emphasised these jetties are not entry or exit jetties for use by people but only for oil palm products. The closure will affect many plantation companies in Sabah and their respective supply chain including smallholders in Sabah that are relying on their jetties for logistics.
MPOA-Sabah also said it appreciated the SPA’s efforts to strengthen the preventive measures on transmission of Covid 19 for the sake of public safety.
“The industry is adhering to the standard operating procedures to prevent and mitigate the transmission in the operations which include the jetties. We are committed in the prevention and join the Government in the fight against Covid-19, ” it said.
It said the jetties are critical components of the supply chain to keep the operations of oil palm estates, mills, CPO refineries and kernel crushing plants running.
The affected supply chain concerned are located far away, where road accessibility is either too far or too difficult to reach. These jetties are used solely by the respective operators own FFB, CPO and kernel.