GEORGE TOWN: The old waterfronts on Penang Island and Seberang Perai will see a rejuvenation over the next few years in an effort to boost business activities.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the project, under a concept called “Penang Bay”, will encompass the coastal area of Butterworth on the mainland, and the north shoreline from Swettenham Pier to Tanjung City Marina on the island.

The project will involve the restoration of old buildings, including warehouses and shoplots, that had been abandoned when Port Klang and Singapore outpaced Penang as the region’s prime trading centre in the 1980s.

Chow said the areas are under the jurisdiction of Penang Port Sdn Bhd, which operates the port, but the project will be a joint venture between the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation and Think City Sdn Bhd.

He said he would present the concept a the Urban Economic Forum in Dubai later this month.

“Let us see if the proposal can generate interest among the forum participants,” he said at the launching of the first expansion exercise of the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal here.

Chow, who was accompanied by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Transport Minister Anthony Loke, said Penang was keen to lure investors to its technology and trading sectors. “We want them to set up operations in the Penang Bay area,” he said.

The RM500 million three-phase expansion of the cruise terminal will see the lengthening of the berthing area to accommodate two cruise ships at the same time.

The number of passengers it can handle will also rise from 8,000 currently to 12,000.