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PSA Singapore opens latest container terminal 43 years on from first boxship call

PSA Singapore opens latest container terminal 43 years on from first boxship call
Singapore celebrated the official opening of phases 3 and 4 of PSA’s Singapore Terminal’s Pasir Panjang Terminal (PPT) on Tuesday, 43 years to the day the first containership called in the Lion City.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the SGD3.5bn ($2.61bn) development that will bring Singapore’s container port capacity to 50m teu, once it is fully operational by end 2017.

The opening ceremony was 43 years on from when Singapore opened its first container terminal in Tanjong Pagar, close to the city centre, in 1972 during the early days of containerisation.

“The MV Nihon the first container ship that called at our port carried a mere 300 containers,” commented PM Lee.

“It was not a game changer in itself, but it was the beginning of a game changer.”

Today Singapore’s container port has grown 1,400 times from when it first started, and is the world’s largest transhipment port and second largest container port behind Shanghai.

With its first berths now operational phases 3 and 4 of PPT will have a total of 15 berths with 6,000 m of quay. The terminal features automated rail mounted gantry cranes, where crane specialist monitor and intervene if necessary, something which PM Lee got to try out for himself (pictured above).

In the longer term, even though PPT phases 3 and 4 are only just opening, Singapore plans to consolidate all its container terminals in Tuas in the far west of island, with a total capacity of 65m teu.