CAGAYAN DE ORO, Southern Philippines — Port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) will likely expand the berth at Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) this year, amid continuing growth in the capacity of vessels calling at the port.
The current berth — about 300 meters long — can only accommodate one foreign vessel of about 1,000-TEU capacity and one small vessel (usually for the domestic trade) at a time.
Negotiations on the construction of the berth between Phividec Industrial Authority (PIA) and Mindanao International Container Terminal Services Inc. (MICTSI) – the ICTSI subsidiary which operates MCT – will likely to be completed in the next two weeks.
Aside from the extension of the berthing facility, both parties are negotiating expansion of MCT’s concession area by about 14.2 hectares for the proposed additional warehouse of Del Monte Philippines, which will be located between the MCT and Del Monte’s main facility.
The cost of the expansion project has yet to be determined.
MCT is located within the Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagaloan, Misamis Oriental. The PIA awarded ICTSI the concession to operate and manage the MCT for 25 years in April 2008.
“Right now, there is a need for MCT to increase its berthing area as vessel requirements have increased through the years,” PIA seaport department manager Dante Clarito in an interview.
“From our initial assessment, we should increase the berth (length) by about 300 meters to make the entire berth 600 meters. However, it will be (up to) ICTSI (to decide) on the length of the additional berth but definitely it should be expanded,” Clarito explained.
“These projects are all geared towards the future as we expect volume to increase significantly particularly now that volume is already 50,000 twenty-foot equivalent units away from saturation point,” he added.
MCT cargo volume reached 215,275 TEUs in 2012, up 2.25% from the 210,508 TEUs handled in 2011 with the bulk contributed by Del Monte, Pilipinas Kao, Nestle and other agricultural and handicraft products.
APL dominates the service at the terminal, followed by MCC Transport. Local shipping lines include NMC Container Lines and Lorenzo Shipping Lines also call at MCT.
At the moment, MICTSI is spending about P30 million building a three-hectare yard for empty containers scheduled for completion this month.
MCT set up such a facility after experiencing a surge in the number of empty containers toward the end of last year. Empties for exports made up 26% and those for imports reached 30% of the total box volume at the port.
The surge in empty box volume followed massive flooding brought by Typhoon Pablo in Misamis and other parts of Mindanao late last year. The calamity devastated the banana industry, the region’s main source of exports.
Photo from www.ictsi.com