NORTH Port operator Manila North Harbour Port Inc. (MNHPI) is going full blast in its rehabilitation of the country’s premier domestic port.
After inaugurating its world-class passenger terminal building on Oct. 9, MNHPI is finalizing the designs of a container terminal to be completed next year.
“We are finalizing the designs for the North Port Operations Center which will consolidate transactions primarily for container operations,” MNHPI chief executive officer Richard Barclay told PortCalls in an email.
“Our target date for completion is by the second–third quarter of 2014,” Barclay said.
MNHPI president Michael Romero, in a statement at the formal opening of the North Port’s Passenger Terminal Complex, said the port operator is right on schedule fulfilling its concession contract, “ if not even ahead of it.”
He said before the company took over the North Port, the latter only had one to two movements per hour.
“With the brand new equipment, cranes, etc., the movement of containers here in this port will now be 18 to 25 per hour”, an 18- to 25-fold efficiency improvement in production, Romero stated.
He said the port’s total investment is estimated to reach P9 billion, with P4 billion already spent and another P5 billion “contracted out for the various port development projects”.
Equipment-wise, Barclay said eight units of brand-new reach stackers were delivered and commissioned in September and have since been operational.
The port operator has also ordered terminal chassis and tractors that are expected to be delivered next year, Barclay said.
MNHPI also expects to finalize the transaction for the procurement of two brand-new container cranes and four brand-new units of rubber-tired gantries by November this year, targeted to be delivered in 12-18 months.
Additional units of reach stackers and forklifts are also expected to be delivered by the second quarter of 2014.
For the perishables trade, Barclay said construction of the port’s reefer facilities, including installation of 144 outlets, is ongoing. MNHPI expects completion of the first 44 reefer points by end of the month and the remaining outlets by the end of December this year, barring unfavorable weather conditions.
The final major work for Phase One of the port rehabilitation is the reclamation of Slip 15 connecting Pier 16 to Pier 14, which MNHPI expects to start working on after completing the works on Pier 10 by January 2014.
One of the major commitments of the port operator under its concession is the completion of a passenger terminal facility.
The new Passenger Terminal Complex, which soft-opened last May, has a capacity of 3 million passengers annually, double the 1.5 million previously.
Romero said MNHPI is expecting Star Cruises, a member of Genting Hong Kong and is the third largest cruise line in the world, to call at the port on Nov. 2.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, who graced the inauguration of the passenger terminal, said “It wouldn’t be far-fetched that the President himself would check this facility and that would be a good chance for MNHPI to showcase what they’ve done.”
MNHPI won in 2010 the 25-year, P14.5 billion concession for the North Port.––Roumina M. Pablo