23 April 2019

Mr KHAW Boon Wan, Minister for Transport and Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure,

HE Mr Andy DETAILLE, Ambassador of Belgium to Singapore,

HE Mr AHN Young-jip, Ambassador of Republic of Korea to Singapore, 

Partners and Distinguished Guests, 


1    Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us today to witness the installation of the 221st and final caisson for Tuas Terminal Phase 1 reclamation works. I was told that three years ago in April 2016, Minister Khaw joined us when we launched the first caisson. We are indeed very honoured that he has joined us again today, to witness the installation of the final caisson. 

2     Let me first share with you some statistics:

o Phase 1 has been 4 years in the making

o All 221 caissons have been constructed onsite and the last one will be installed shortly 

o This also marks the completion of 8.6km of seawall installation  

o We are now 74% complete for reclamation works for Phase 1  

o We are on track in handing over the land required for PSA Corporation to commence its construction of the container terminals with the first 2 berths to be operational by 2021  

o When fully operational by 2027, we will see 21 deep-water berths that are able to handle about 20 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year 

Anchoring Our Maritime Future with The World’s Largest Container Terminal in A Single Location

3    Shipping has and will continue to play a vital role for international trade – 90% of which comes via sea. Our container terminal ports have come a long way. We started with Tanjong Pagar (past), then Pasir Panjang (present), and with a future here in Tuas. We have always built boldly ahead of demand in trade volumes. Tanjong Pagar was the first container port in Southeast Asia when the Singapore Government decided to build it in 1969.  If we had not built Pasir Panjang ahead of time, we would not have the capability to handle a record 36.6m TEUs last year. The Tuas story will be no different. When fully developed in the 2040s, it can handle up to 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per annum. It will allow us to meet future demands. It will also allow us to be plugged into the growing intra-Asia trade, regional trade and the global supply chain.

Next-Generation port and Industry Transformation

6    Tuas Port will not be just about “hardware”, but also “software”. It must be a “smarter port” than what we have today, which can cater to the Maritime Revolution 4.0 and future shipping landscape.  Tuas Port must be more efficient, more secured, safer and provide better customer experience than today.  

7     How do we do that?  MPA is working with key partners to develop new port digital systems. We recently launched the Maritime Innovation Lab to testbed and pilot these new systems, in four key areas: 

i. Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System (NGVTMS) must enhance safe navigation through our busy port waters. It will need to predict congestion hotspots, assist vessels to plan their routes to the berths and detect potential collision.

ii. Maritime Single Window (MSW) in 2 phases.  Phase 1 will streamline submission process for faster port clearance. Phase 2 will have a Just in Time Planning and Coordination System to allow vessels to turn-around faster in the port and optimise the deployment of resources for port services. 

iii. Maritime Sense Making System (SAFER) which will optimise port operations and manage the growth of future shipping traffic by preventing illegal bunkering, detecting entry into prohibited areas and optimising the utilisation of anchorages. 

iv. Remotely Assisted Piloted Advisory (RAPA) solution incorporating Internet-of-Things sensors and communication systems to enable remote pilotage from shore-based stations. Shore-based marine pilots will use real-time video imagery and collision avoidance software to navigate ships safely.

8    I know that PSA Corporation is also intensively testing the use of new technology for its port operations. Under the MPA-PSA Port Technology Research and Development Programme (PTRDP), a fleet of 30 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have been deployed in a trial with automated yard cranes and quay cranes in the Pasir Panjang Terminal.  These will be scaled up in Tuas Port.

Harnessing engineering talent for a future-ready sea port

9    This opening remarks will not be complete if I do not recognise the efforts of the people, in particular the engineers among our midst here today.  At the peak of Tuas Terminal Phase 1 works, I was told that we have a team of close to 2,000 engineers, skilled technical personnel and project personnel from MPA, Surbana Jurong and Dredging International Asia Pacific - Daelim Industrial Joint Venture (DDJV).  

10     They have put in place innovative solutions such as Temarock and Automatic Rebar Machine using Robotics System (ARMS), which have made construction not only more efficient, but also safer. They have been working tirelessly on this project, surmounted various challenges and yet maintained a safe work environment for all workers.  

11     Let me take this opportunity to thank the teams from MPA, Surbana Jurong and DDJV. 


12     Let me now conclude. We are here today because of bold decisions and strong vision of what we want out of our maritime sector, and what we hope our maritime sector can contribute to Singapore, the region and to Asia.  We are now one step forward towards realising this vision – the vision of a Next Generation Port 2030. Together with our partners here, MPA will work hard to fulfil this mission that we have been tasked with, and work alongside our key partners to put in place both the hardware and the software.    

13     Thank you Minister and distinguished guests for joining us in this momentous event.