The Port of Teluk Bayur lies on the banks of Bayur Pay in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is the biggest and busiest port on Sumatra’s western coast. The Port of Teluk Bayur’s home city, Padang is the capital of West Sumatra province. The port, called Emmahaven during the colonial period, is about five kilometers south of the city. The port was originally used as a bunker port for coal, but today, it also handles rubber, coffee, tea, cinnamon, nutmeg, plywood, and rattan. In 2005, almost 710 thousand people lived in the Port of Teluk Bayur’s Padang city.
The Port of Teluk Bayur and Padang have been a trading center since the 16th Century. Through the 17th Century, locally-grown pepper was a popular commodity for trade with India, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
The city and the Port of Teluk Bayur came under the rule of the Dutch in 1663, and they built a trading post there in 1680. The Port of Teluk Bayur and Padang came under British rule in the early 1780s during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War and at the turn of the 19th Century during the Napoleonic Wars.
After the beginning of the 19th Century, the Port of Teluk Bayur and Padang came under relatively permanent Dutch rule. The most important product for trade through the Port of Teluk Bayur was gold taken from the local mines. After the mines were emptied, Dutch trade turned to other local products like salts, textiles, and coffee.
Between 1888 and 1893, construction of the modern Port of Teluk Bayur reached a peak. At the time, under Dutch occupation, it was known as Emma Haven.
When Indonesia won independence in 1949, about 50 thousand people lived in the Port of Teluk Bayur and Padang. Coffee remained an important export, and locally-grown copra grew in importance at the Port of Teluk Bayur. Since then, population growth has been amazing, largely resulting from migration of rural people to the cities. Since independence, the government of Indonesia undertook the construction of modern facilities at the Port of Teluk Bayur that were completed in 1995.
The Port of Teluk Bayur and Padang city have been inundated by tsunamis in the recorded history of the region. In 1797, a 5-10 meter tsunami followed an 8.6 Mw earthquake, causing significant damage, even moving a heavy-laden sailing ship a kilometer upstream. In 1833, another major earthquake created a 3-4 meter tsunami. The December 2004 tsunami sent powerful waves through the city and killed 300 people.