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Kaohsiung port to invite bids to operate new mega-ship container berths

Kaohsiung port to invite bids to operate new mega-ship container berths
Taiwan’s Kaohsiung port is planning to invite bids for the operation of its new mega-ship berths under construction at its Container Terminal Number 7 Project, according to Wang Pai Feng, harbor master of Port of Kaohsiung.

The phase one stage of the Container Terminal Number 7 Project is scheduled to come on stream with two and a half berths (S5 to S3.5) by June 2018, and container terminal operators are welcomed to join an open tender in August this year.

“We are already in talks with some international lines such as those from the G6 Alliance and 2M, and international operators like PSA and DP World,” Wang told Seatrade Maritime. He said Kaohsiung is hoping to attract international players to invest in the port.

A total of five deepwater berths will be built at the Container Terminal Number 7 Project, with the remaining two and a half berths (S3.5 to S1) to be completed under phase two, with a total investment of $1.05bn.

Wang said all the five berths, with a total length of 2,415 metres and draft of 18 metres, can be operated by international players if they are interested and win the bids.

When fully completed from mid-2019, Kaohsiung port will add 4.5m teu of container handling capacity and be able to accommodate mega-sized containerships of up to 22,000 teu.

At present, Kaohsiung has an existing six container centers operated by Lien Hai, Wan Hai, OOCL, Hon Ming, APL, Hyundai, Evergreen, Hanjin Shipping, Kao Ming, and Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC), which controls the former four port authorities of Kaohsiung, Keelung, Taichung and Hualien.

Meahwhile, Kaohsiung port is looking at modest growth in its box throughput of a 2.9% increase to 10.9m teu this year compared to the 10.59m teu achieved in 2014, according to Wang.

He admitted that it would not be easy to achieve this year’s throughput target due to slowing cargo demand and the overall sluggish business environment in global shipping.