PM inaugurates new phase of expansion for Pasir Panjang Terminal

The facilities, known as Pasir Panjang Terminal Phases 3 and 4, are slated to be fully operational by end-2017.
Dylan Loh, Channel NewsAsia 23 Jun 15;

SINGAPORE: In a bid to strengthen Singapore's position as a leading port, Pasir Panjang Terminal is undergoing a S$3.5 billion expansion.

Its new facilities, known as Pasir Panjang Terminal Phases 3 and 4, are slated to be fully operational by end-2017. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officiated the launch of the new berths at the terminal on Tuesday (Jun 23).

When the 15 new berths are completely up and running, the terminal will be able to handle 50 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUS) yearly. The new berths will feature the latest port innovations, such as a zero-emission, fully-automated electric yard crane system.

PSA Singapore Terminals operates the facility, and is also working with the Government on the development of the future Tuas Port. PSA International Group Chairman Fock Siew Wah said: "There's much more that needs to be done, many more new challenges and new complexities to overcome. But we remain very committed, motivated, and energised to strive even harder and to work smarter."

Speaking at the launch of the new facility, Mr Lee said the Government is studying how the future Tuas Port can be redesigned to be open to the public. Singapore's ports have typically been out of bounds to the public.

Due to the port's success, Mr Lee said the world is highly connected to Singapore, and Singapore to the world as well. He said if Singapore was not the major port that it is, connected to other ports in Asia, Europe and America, the country would be sidelined.

Singapore handled about 34 million TEUs in 2014, near the capacity of 35 million. Mr Lee said the new Tuas mega-terminal will raise capacity to 65 million TEUs annually.

"More importantly, it's a green field site," Mr Lee said. "So that we can use advanced technology and fundamentally change the way the port is run, using data analytics, using autonomous vehicles, using technology - green technology, to sharpen our efficiency, our reliability, and so our competitive edge." He added that the maritime industry creates good jobs, employing 170,000 people.

- CNA/ly

Singapore grows container terminal, eyes mega-ship demand
Reuters AsiaOne 23 Jun 15;

A few of the planned 15 berths in Phases 3 and 4 of the Pasir Panjang Terminal are operational. The rest of the S$3.5 billion project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017, pushing Singapore's annual container handling capacity to 50 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), said Singapore's main container terminal operator PSA.

All the new berths at Pasir Panjang Terminal, one of PSA's terminals in Singapore, are designed to be able to handle container ships with capacities larger than 10,000 TEUs.

Shipowners have been turning to mega-ships to cut down on fuel costs, despite the fact that container shipping capacity has outpaced demand and freight rates remain under pressure. "This project also reflects our philosophy ... always to scan the horizon, discern the trends, plan and invest ahead of time, said Fock Siew Wah, group chairman of PSA International.

Singapore is the world's second busiest container port after Shanghai in China, which took over Singapore in 2010.

In 2014, Singapore's container throughput grew 4 percent to a record high of nearly 34 million TEUs, but the growth rate was down from around 10 percent in 2010, data from Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority showed.

Pasir Panjang Terminal's $3.5b expansion kicks off
Adrian Lim The Straits Times AsiaOne 24 Jun 15;

The $3.5 billion Phase 3 and 4 development of Pasir Panjang Terminal was officially launched yesterday, further strengthening Singapore's position as a leading shipping hub.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the crucial role that the port has played in positioning Singapore globally when he opened the facility yesterday.

If Singapore's port was not connected directly to other major ports in Asia, Europe and the United States, the Republic would be sidelined, he said.

"It's not just a completely different port, it's a completely different Singapore," he added.

The new expansion - which includes the already-operational Pasir Panjang Terminal 5 and two future terminals that will be running by the end of 2017 - will add 15 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) to Singapore's handling capacity.

This will boost the Republic's container throughput by more than 40 per cent to 50 million TEUs annually. Currently, Singapore's port is edging close to its maximum capacity of 35 million TEUs, after handling a total of 33.9 million last year.

The Government decided in 2004 to expand the Pasir Panjang terminals to include 15 new berths to better serve mega-size ships, or those which can carry upwards of 18,000 containers.

Technologies such as automated rail-mounted gantry cranes will also be used for the first time in the new expansion. These yard cranes are operated remotely from a control centre and containers are stacked with the help of computers, sensors and cameras, thereby saving manpower and increasing productivity.

Mr Lee said Singapore's position as the world's biggest transhipment hub, and the second busiest port in the world after Shanghai, should not be taken for granted. The latter was exceptional, Mr Lee noted, considering Singapore has a domestic base of only 5.5 million in population, but Shanghai has the hinterland of China.

"It is a remarkable position for our port to be in, and it's not something which is going to stay unless we keep up," he said.

Singapore also has more plans for the long term, Mr Lee said, with a mega-terminal planned in Tuas that will consolidate all of PSA's port activities by 2040.

When fully operational, it will be able to handle 65 million TEUs annually, almost double last year's container throughput.

The megaport - a green-field site - will also use advanced technology such as data analytics and autonomous vehicles to sharpen Singapore's efficiency, reliability and competitive edge, he said.

What will also set Tuas apart from the current terminals is the port's interaction with its surroundings and members of the public. "We are also studying how the port can be redesigned to integrate well with the surrounding development and to be open to the public, instead of the traditional mode of a port which is completely out of bounds to the public," he said.

In his speech yesterday, Mr Lee also paid tribute to pioneer port workers who worked tirelessly to keep the port running efficiently.

The maritime industry today, he said, continues to create good jobs and employs 170,000 people while contributing 7 per cent to Singapore's gross domestic product.

"Singaporeans know that the port is important to us, but I suspect that many of us don't realise how critical it is," he said.