Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong opened the expanded Pasir Panjang Terminal on 23 June.
Known as the Phases 3 and 4 development, the expansion will add 15 berths with a 6 km quay length to the container terminal’s existing 52 berths. The new berths have an 18 m-deep draught.
A few of the 15 new berths are in operation and all are set to be in use by 2017, raising Singapore’s annual capacity to 50 million TEU.
Lee spoke of how Singapore has come a long way since the former British colony’s port began at the Singapore River.
He added that Singapore has never stopped investing in upgrading its port because it is crucial to the city-state’s economy.
In 1991, Singapore decided to expand Pasir Panjang Terminal so the city-state’s ports could handle 35 million TEU, which was the throughput of 2014.
In 2004, anticipating cargo growth, the decision was taken to expand the terminal to handle 50 million TEU a year.
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The government invested SGD2 billion (USD1.5 billion) to reclaim land for the terminal’s expansion while terminal operator PSA International invested SGD3.5 billion in facilities and equipment.
Lee said, “These new berths will enable us to better serve mega container ships and make us even more efficient.”
The expanded terminal features automated rail-mounted gantry cranes that do not require operators.
Instead, crane specialists will monitor the operations and step in when necessary, a move expected to reduce manpower costs and improve productivity.
In about a decade, Singapore will consolidate all container operations in Tuas, an industrial estate in the western part of the city-state.