Singapore has called for tenders to study the feasibility of building underground tunnels to connect its new mega-port with the city-state’s industrial estates.
JTC Corporation, which is overseeing part of the dredging works for the port, which will be located in Singapore’s industrial district of Tuas, is seeking a feasibility study into what it has described as “Underground Inter-Estate Goods Mover System Tunnel Linking Tuas Port with Industrial Estates and Underground Cavern Development at Jurong West”.
The description suggests that JTC Corporation is looking at a system akin to a subway for containers, instead of having the boxes driven out from the port in trucks.
When ready sometime in 2022, the new mega-port would handle 65 million teu a year.
Such a system would free up land for other uses and minimise traffic congestion. In cities like Manila, congestion is a problem due to heavy road traffic.
JTC Corporation told IHS Maritime it could not give any details at this stage. “It’s just a feasibility study so everything is still at the initial stage,” said JTC Corporation.
However, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants’ partner Anthonie Versluis, who specialises in transportation, told IHS Maritime that such a tunnel “definitely has advantages and is certainly feasible”.
Versluis explained that “Keeping cargo trucks separate from normal cars would reduce the congestion and noise created along major logistics routes. Many other port cities have the same thing or are planning to do so. Not only will this result in the containment of pollution, which can be redirected so it does not get released into the atmosphere, but it will also eliminate complaints by the public on cargo trucking on main roads”.