OPENING REMARKS BY MR ANDREW TAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE AT THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST CAISSON FOR TUAS TERMINAL PHASE 1 ON 29 APRIL 2016 AT THE TUAS CONSTRUCTION SITE

29 April 2016

Mr Khaw Boon Wan,
Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure & Minister for Transport,

HE Mr Gerard Cockx,
Ambassador of Belgium to Singapore,

Mr Kang Ju-Hong, Deputy Chief of Mission, Minister and Consul-General, Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Singapore,

Mr Pang Kin Keong, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport,

Mr Alain Bernard, CEO, Dredging Environmental and Marine Engineering (DEME),

Mr Baek Un-il, Chief Executive, Civil Business Division, Daelim

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Introduction

1    Thank you for joining us today to witness the launch of the first caisson for the Tuas Terminal Phase 1 project.  This launch marks a major milestone in the development of the next generation container terminal at Tuas. The support of our key partners, stakeholders and relevant government agencies are much appreciated and we look forward to working with all on the broader Tuas Next Generation Port development.

2    In total, 222 caissons will be fabricated to form 8.6 km of wharf structure.  These caissons are one of the largest in the world and each one is as tall as a 10-storey HDB flat. When completed, this will be one of the world’s longest wharfs built using these mega-structures. It will allow us to handle vessels of varying sizes, including the largest mega vessel.

UNDERSCORING SINGAPORE’S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINING OUR GLOBAL HUB PORT LEADERSHIP POSITION

3    The Tuas Terminal Phase 1 project is a testament to Singapore’s commitment to sustaining its lead as a global hub port.

4    Upon completion, the berths in Phase 1 will be able to handle 20 million Twenty-foot Equivalent units (TEUs) per annum out of the total capacity of up to 65M TEUs for the whole Tuas Terminal development.

TUAS NEXT GENERATION PORT 

5    Tuas Terminal is a key pillar of Singapore’s Next Generation Port and represents our confidence in Singapore’s maritime future.

6    Among the new and innovative features of the Port, the land set aside for the terminal will be intensified with the use of above ground and underground spaces for maritime- related and other industries, co-located with the container port facilities.  MPA is working closely with other agencies to explore this possibility.

7    Similarly, future growth of marine traffic and increasing size of ships in our port waters will be managed using next generation port operations systems.  The Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System will assist vessels to avoid congestion through early detection of congestion hot spots and advise the best route to reach the berths safely and efficiently.

8    Productivity and labour savings will also be a key feature in the design of the next generation container terminals, which will make full use of technology such as automated port equipment and automated yard cranes. Currently, automated yard cranes are used at the new Pasir Panjang container terminal and the trial of Automated Guided Vehicles or AGVs is now on-going.  PSA is leading this effort.

9    The Tuas Terminal will also have a customer-centric intelligent system that facilitates maritime businesses and services, such as allowing vessels to arrive at the terminals just-in-time, and enable maritime service providers like bunker suppliers and pilots and tugs providers, the ability to conduct forward planning before the vessels arrive, thus reducing waiting time and increasing port efficiency and turnaround times.

AN ENGINEERING FEAT

10    The first generation pioneers built this city with nothing but their wits, gumption and determination.  Our generation have benefitted from their perseverance.  As we prepare for the future, we must invest in a first class infrastructure for the next generation.

11    In this regard, the Tuas Terminal Phase 1 project is an engineering challenge that offers great opportunities to our engineers to push themselves to the fullest in the planning, design and implementation of this port infrastructure.

12    It also provides them with on-the-job training to enhance their engineering knowledge and project management skills.  Among the engineering activities used in this project that they can learn from and apply their skills and knowledge in their careers include:

i)    The use of innovative caisson design for wharf structures. The massive caissons will be pre-fabricated on site – in fact right next to where we are seated today.  Using caissons is much faster than other methods, such as piling.  Productivity and quality are also increased as the caissons are of standard sizes and pre-fabricated on site.

ii)    The large scale use of dredged and excavated materials, which make up more than 60% of the total fill materials required for the project. The dredged materials are from the deepening of basins and fairway and excavated earth is from land construction projects such as LTA’s infrastructure projects. Re-using such materials, which will be otherwise disposed of as waste, will reduce the quantity of sand fill required for reclamation, thus resulting in significant reclamation fill material cost savings of some S$1 billion.

iii)    Prior to the reclamation works, a formal Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out by marine environmental experts engaged by MPA.  As part of the EIA recommendations, corals around Sultan Shoal lighthouse which could be affected by the reclamation works were relocated to the southern islands in order to preserve them.  This also provides opportunity for our engineers to partner the community to safeguard our environment.

CONCLUSION

13    Let me conclude by saying that the Tuas Terminal is a centrepiece of Singapore’s Next Generation Port vision and demonstrates our strong commitment to strengthening and sustaining our leadership position as a Global Hub Port and International Maritime Centre.  

14    We also hope that complex projects of this scale can inspire the next generation of engineers to step forward to help shape our future. As our founding Prime Minister has said, Singapore’s raison d’être was its port. To stay relevant, we have to adapt as the world changes, and stay ahead of the game by being more efficient, innovative and productive.

15    Thank you.