International Container Terminal Services Inc. said over the weekend it is spending P15 billion to expand the capacity of Manila International Container Terminal with the development of another berth—Berth 8.
The port operator led by businessman Enrique Razon said the construction of the new berth in two phases would allow MICT to handle increasing volume demand and serve new-generation container ships that can carry up to 18,000 TEUs or twenty-foot equivalent units.
It said that with the growing trend towards larger container ships, MICT will be ready to service these very large container ships with ease and efficiency.
“The added capacity will allow us to stay ahead of demand and address the steadily increasing volume, a sure sign of economic recovery for our country. Berth 8 will be a game-changer for the city; it will take Manila’s port capabilities to a whole new level with the ability to handle the larger capacity ships and the additional volume that comes with them,” ICTSI executive vice president Christian Gonzalez said.
Berth 8 will add a total of 400 meters quay and up to 12 hectares of yard area in phases. Along with port equipment, the expansion is estimated to cost P15 billion. Water alongside will be initially dredged to a depth of 13.5 meters, with potential further deepening to 15-meter draft.
“ICTSI is not specifically obligated under its contract with the Philippine Ports Authority to build Berth 8. We’re doing it to become more competitive in the face of rising global trade. Our commitment has always been to provide the highest levels of service and infrastructure and building another berth to increase our terminal’s capability is one way of honoring that commitment,” Gonzalez said.
The full build, including Berths 6 and 7 and combined with the 1,300 meters of Berths 1 to 5, will give MICT a total berth length of 2,300 meters and expand the MICT berthing and total capacities by 21 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
Berths 6 and 7, which became operational in 2012 and 2014, respectively, can accommodate Neo-Panamax vessels with maximum capacities of up to 15,500 TEUs. Berth 7 was expanded by another 150 meters in 2021, creating a 600-meter contiguous quay with Berth 6. The two berths are equipped with five quay cranes but are designed to operate with six.
The sixth quay crane is scheduled for delivery in July 2023, along with two other quay cranes for Berth 4. On completion, Berth 8 will be equipped with at least four quay cranes—two of which will be delivered in 2025—which will be the largest in the terminal and in the country.
Aside from the construction of Berth 8, ICTSI commenced the modernization of Berths 1 to 5 and their backup and yard areas. The project includes the installation of additional reefer racks by April to accommodate about 300 TEUs of reefer cargo.
Eight new hybrid RTGs are scheduled to be deployed in March that will increase the terminal’s hybrid fleet to 40 units. MICT has been deploying hybrids ub its operations since 2018 to reduce carbon emissions and as part of continued efforts towards being the most sustainable facility in the Philippines.