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Singapore exploring two-tiered terminals for new mega-port in Tuas

Singapore exploring two-tiered terminals for new mega-port in Tuas
Land-constrained Singapore is exploring concepts such as two-tiered terminals for the new 65m teu facility it is building in the far west of the island.

Setting out the vision for the Next Generation Port 2030 Maritime & Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore chief executive Andrew Tan said that the city-state faced, “challenges that other ports may not have, such as land and sea space constraints, higher costs relative to the region and manpower constraints”. 

Tuas Terminal, for which land reclamation is currently underway, will be built in four phases with a total capacity of 65m teu when completed. The first phase expected to be operational in 2020, and existing terminal capacity closer to the city centre will gradually be transferred to the new port.

Going beyond concepts such as auto-guided vehicles that a number of ports are experimenting with, Singapore is also looking at how it can increase land utilisation

“To break the current berth capacity ceiling, one potential idea we are exploring is to use a two-tiered container terminal, which will significantly increase the yard storage capacity and quay crane productivity,” Tan explained at the Singapore Maritime Institute Forum on Thursday.

As a greenfield site Tuas port will offer an opportunity to try out new concepts in terms of land use.

“We should not restrict ourselves to traditional port layouts. One of these new land-use concepts is to develop a platform above part of the container port on which port-related and industrial developments, such as container freight stations, logistic hubs and other facilities, can be developed to intensify land-use,” he said.

“The aboveground space development over part of the new mega container port could create significant land area for the development of a cluster of maritime and port business activities, including amenities and possibly commercial-residential areas for those working in the area to form a component of the future Tuas Maritime Hub.”

There is also the possibility of developing underground storage.