SPEECH BY MR LUI TUCK YEW, MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, AT "UNVEILING THE FUTURE - THE LAUNCH OF PASIR PANJANG TERMINAL PHASES 3 AND 4" ON 1 OCTOBER 2012, 6.10PM AT PSA AUDITORIUM

01 October 2012

Mr Lucien Wong,
Chairman, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore


Mr Fock Siew Wah,
Group Chairman, PSA International


Mr Tan Chong Meng,
Group Chief Executive Officer, PSA International


Mr Tan Puay Hin,
Regional Chief Executive Officer Southeast Asia, PSA International


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good evening. I am pleased to join you for the unveiling of Pasir Panjang Terminal Phases 3 and 4 (PPT Phases 3 & 4). This is another milestone in the expansion of our port.

The Port of Singapore - Cornerstone of Economy and Maritime Singapore

The port has always played a key role in Singapore's and the region's growth and development, beginning with our early days as a small entrepot trading post some 200 years ago. Today, our port remains a pillar of the domestic and regional economies, providing critical connectivity to global markets for the manufacturing sectors, and bringing in a wide range of goods needed by the economy and population.

The port has also been a cornerstone of Singapore's development as an International Maritime Centre. It has spawned the growth of port services such as bunkering and ship repairs, and attracted a wide range of ancillary service providers in areas such as ship management, ship brokering, ship finance and maritime law.

It is a key node on the trade routes between East and West. To maintain Singapore's attractiveness as a global hub port, we must continue to invest in port infrastructure ahead of demand and ensure that our port remains highly efficient and competitive. This is why despite the current uncertainties in the shipping market, we have upgraded our Port Operations Control Centres, deepened the approaches to our port, and are expanding our container terminals.

PPT Phases 3 & 4 - Positioning the Port for Future Growth

In 2004, we made the decision to develop Phases 3 and 4 of Pasir Panjang Terminal to meet future growth in container volume. About 85% of the land reclamation for these two phases has been completed and we are on track to complete the remaining works by 2014.

PSA Singapore Terminals has begun to take ownership of the land at PPT Phases 3 and 4 in stages. I note that PSA will spend some S$3.5 billion in best-in-class infrastructure and the latest port technology. For instance, there will be an automated container yard and unmanned rail-mounted gantry cranes that will be supported by intelligent systems. These features will enable PPT Phases 3 and 4 to serve the next generation of container ships, increase productivity and also promote environmental sustainability in our port operations.

The first berths at PPT Phase 3 are expected to be operational in 2014. When fully completed with 15 berths by 2020, PPT Phases 3 and 4 will increase total port capacity by about 50% to 50 million TEUs. This will strengthen Singapore's position as the world's largest transhipment hub.

Beyond PPT - Port Consolidation

Shipping will continue to be the lifeblood of Singapore's economy far into the future. We therefore take a very long-term view of the Singapore Port and its growth. As some of you are aware, the port leases for the City Terminals at Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Pulau Brani will expire in 2027. With this in mind, we have studied the feasibility of building a consolidated port as recommended by the Economic Strategies Committee.

I am pleased to announce that we will work towards consolidating all our container port activities at Tuas over the long term. Tuas provides a suitable location because of its sheltered deep waters and proximity to both our major industrial areas and international shipping routes. We will plan for Tuas Port to be able to handle up to 65 million TEUs per annum. This, we believe, will offer sufficient capacity for Singapore to meet the longer term demands as a global hub port.

Consolidating our port in one location will enable us to achieve greater efficiency and economies of scale. Currently, we have five container terminals - Brani, Keppel, Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang Terminal 1 and Pasir Panjang Terminal 2. To support transhipment operations, there is often a need to move containers between these terminals by trucks. This adds to the time taken and business costs for port operations, as well as congestion on our roads. Consolidation will eliminate this need for inter-terminal haulage.

The new port will also provide us a clean slate and the opportunity to introduce even more advanced technology and processes to meet future challenges. Our new port must be able to handle future generations of container ships that are likely to be even larger and more complex than the ships today. We might need to cater to a growing fleet of ships that are powered by LNG and other alternative fuels. Also, given our land and manpower constraints, we have to strive for even greater efficiency and productivity. In this regard, MPA and PSA jointly launched the Port Technology Research and Development Program in April last year. The programme is studying automated container port systems, optimization techniques and technologies, and green port technologies, among others. We will be able to deploy some of the outcomes of these projects at Tuas Port.

Consolidation at Tuas will also free up prime land, which our City Terminals and Pasir Panjang Terminal are currently occupying, for re-development.

The development of Tuas Port will be a long-term project that takes place in phases. We expect the first set of berths at Tuas to be operational in about 10 years' time. As with the expansion of Pasir Panjang Terminal, we will develop Tuas Port in a sustainable manner and take all necessary steps to address any environmental impact. More information on Tuas Port will be released in due course when the details are finalised.

Conclusion

With the expanded Pasir Panjang Terminal coming on stream and the longer-term development of Tuas Port, the Port of Singapore is well positioned to serve the needs of our shipping industry and to support the continued growth of Maritime Singapore and the region well into the future.

I congratulate PSA on this happy occasion, and look forward to the successful completion of PPT Phases 3 and 4.

Thank you and have a pleasant evening.