LISTED ports operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) said it is expanding the capacity of its flagship Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) with the acquisition of $80-million (P4.02 billion) worth of new equipment.
In a statement on Monday, ICTSI said it is allocating $80 million for the capacity expansion of MICT to finance the purchase of five post-Panamax quay cranes, 20 rubber tired gantry cranes, and the construction of another berth.
The quay cranes can service up to 13,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) cargo boxes. They have a maximum of 20 containers lift rated load capacity, and can service single-ocean box ships which are too large to pass through the Panama Canal.
The upgrade would allow MICT to handle the largest vessels that ply the intra-Asian trade routes, which the port serves.
MICT currently has six berths. Of the five new quay cranes, two will be deployed at Berth 5, while the three others will be deployed at Berths 3, 6 and 7. The first three cranes are scheduled for delivery by 2018, with the remaining two in 2019.
The new equipment orders will increase MICT’s capacity by 13,000 TEUs, bringing MICT annual capacity to 2.75 million TEUs.
ICTSI said the expansion program is in line with the projected increase in container movement as a result of an improving Philippine economy despite the global downturn in the container shipping industry.
“We have always been steps ahead of the game in terms of planning. By the way things are looking, there is a legitimate need to invest in equipment and construct an additional berth in the near future. We need to ensure expansion is ahead of the curve in terms of being prepared for an increase in vessel sizes,” Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI senior vice president and regional head of Asia Pacific and MICT, said.
ICTSI is also working on the revival of the rail link between MICT and the recently opened Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal in Calamba.
The company has also submitted a proposal recently to build a roll on-roll off (RoRo) barge terminal in Cavite, south of Metro Manila.
Incorporated in 1987, ICTSI is engaged in the operation, management and development of the MICT through a 50-year concession since 1988, handling international container cargo at the Port of Manila. Its terminal operations and projects currently span Asia Pacific, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.