Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III inaugurated the sixth berth (Berth 6) of the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s (ICTSI) flagship terminal and the Philippines’ largest and leading international trading gateway.
An investment amounting to USD 200 million, Berth 6 further boosts operations and services at the MICT through an expanded port facility and an increased terminal capacity from the existing 1.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 2.5 million TEUs. The MICT, the sole-dedicated container handling facility in the country, currently holds 65 percent of the containerized cargo market in the Port of Manila.
“Today, we proudly open for business MICT’s sixth berth expansion after two years of construction and development. We are doubly proud and honored that President Aquino has taken the time to be with us on this special occasion,” said Enrique K. Razon Jr., ICTSI chairman and president.
“This new berth has been completed at the most opportune time. With the country attracting more foreign investment than ever, we now have added capacity to quickly and efficiently move cargo. Berth 6 will enable the seamless faciliation of the Philippines’ growing global trade in the next few years,” he adds.
Berth 6 is ICTSI’s response to the growing volumes at the MICT. The expansion is also part of the concession agreement between ICTSI and port regulator Philippine Ports Authority when the former won the 25+25 year concession to operate, manage and develop the MICT in 1987. A first in the Philippines, the MICT was privatized during the administration of former President Corazon C. Aquino, and is recognized as one of the most successful port privatizations in the world.
The new facility adds to the existing terminal 300 meters of berth and 12 hectares of container storage space. The new berth is equipped with two post-Panamax twin lift quay cranes and 10 rubber tired gantries. Another quay crane is on order and will be delivered early next year.
With Berth 6, MICT now has an available quay line of 1,600 meters, which can accommodate five to seven container vessels at one time including the largest ships deployed in global trade lanes. Container handling equipment fleet is the largest and the most sophisticated in the country to date with 12 quay cranes and 45 rubber tired gantries deployed.
When the need arises, MICT’s available berthing facilities could be extended by a further 300 meters more, and dredged deeper from the existing controlling depth of 13 meters to 14.5 meters. The MICT is flexibly designed to adjust to terminal expansion and could be extended to an additional seventh berth to facilitate increasing volumes in the Port of Manila. Total terminal area is at 75.4 hectares.
“The MICT as ICTSI’s flagship operation is our benchmark terminal for operating ports around the world, a true symbol of Filipino ability and distinction. Through this new development, the MICT continues to be a beacon of Philippine pride and prominence in a truly global industry,” said Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI vice president and MICT general manager.
“The success of ICTSI as a global port operator would have not been possible without the MICT. It was our here, which allowed us to bring ICTSI’s brand of port management and expertise to the rest of the world,” he added.
Aside from President Aquino, present during the inauguration were Manila Mayor Afredo S. Lim, Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel A. Roxas II and Philippine Ports Authority General Manager Juan S. Sta. Ana.