ICTSI to complete Iloilo terminal upgrades in 2 months

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Visayas Container Terminal. Photo from ICTSI.
  • International Container Terminal Services, Inc. expects to complete terminal upgrades at the Visayas Container Terminal in Iloilo in less two months
  • VCT so far has five reach stackers, four trailers and three prime movers
  • Additional equipment is set to arrive in the coming weeks, including five empty container handlers, 12 prime movers and 12 trailers
  • Since ICTSI began operating the facility on April 1, VCT has already serviced some 40 vessels

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) expects to complete terminal upgrades at the Visayas Container Terminal (VCT) in Iloilo in less than two months.

Since ICTSI began operating the facility on April 1, VCT has already serviced some 40 vessels, including container ships, roll-on/roll-off vessels, and bulk carriers, according to ICTSI.

“Our operations are off to a good start thanks to the great team that we have here at VCT,” Timothee Jeannin, VCT executive director, said in a statement.

He added: “Everyone worked tirelessly to get everything up and running, including the renovation of the terminal’s facilities, and set up of the systems needed to run the terminal within our desired standards. Customers can expect more improvements as we continue to deploy more equipment and complete the rest of the terminal upgrades in less than two months.”

Last January ICTSI was awarded the 25-year cargo-handling contract to operate and develop the terminal. The notice to proceed was received on April 15.

READ: ICTSI gets green light to operate Iloilo port

ICTSI was the sole bidder for the VCT, with a proposed concession fee of P750 million for the sixth to 10th year of the concession period, excluding taxes, higher than the minimum fixed concession fee of P500 million, with an annual fee of P100 million for the sixth year.

VCT currently has five reach stackers, four trailers and three prime movers. Additional equipment is set to arrive in the coming weeks, including five empty container handlers, 12 prime movers and 12 trailers.

VCT will also deploy two mobile harbor cranes in September to further boost vessel operations. The terminal also looks to improve its bulk operations by investing in new bagging machines, clamshells and additional mobile equipment for bulk cargo.

Catering to refrigerated cargo, VCT looks to complete the construction of its reefer stacks by August. The facility will have an initial capacity of 40 plugs, which will be increased based on demand.

Besides fast-tracking the remaining works at the terminal, VCT is negotiating possible opportunities and connections with both domestic and international shipping lines services to and from Iloilo.

Beyond its aim of enhancing the local logistics chain and providing opportunities for the industries in Western Visayas, ICTSI said it aims to empower its host communities by prioritizing local hiring and engaging local contractors.

“We are proud to spearhead the transformation of the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex into a world-class maritime facility. At the same time, we are grateful for the opportunity to spur economic activity in the Visayas region and elevate the local communities that host our operations,” said Jeannin.

VCT handles a current volume of 100,000 twenty-foot equivalent units and two million metric tons of non-containerized cargo annually. It features 627 meters of operational quay length and 20 hectares of land dedicated to container and general cargo storage, warehousing, and other cargo-handling activities.

Under the contract, VCT’s operations will exclusively serve foreign vessels and cargoes. For the first five years, however, domestic vessels and cargoes will still be allowed until the Fort San Pedro port development turnover.

Investment requirements under the contract include an internationally-recognized terminal operating system, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)-owned equipment maintenance, and infrastructure upkeep.

A 250-meter berth must also be constructed under the contract, container yard upgraded for partial rubber-tired gantry operations, and cargo-handling equipment provided to meet future demand.

For the first five years, the operator must remit 20% of annual gross revenues to PPA. From the sixth to tenth year, a fixed annual concession fee applies, followed by incremental increases based on the consumer price index every three years from the eleventh year onward.

In addition to the yearly concession fee, a 20% variable fee will be remitted to PPA if the actual traffic volume exceeds the volume threshold by 10%. The variable fee for the sixth year is based on the highest throughput from the initial five years. A minimum working capital of P51 million is required.

ICPC is the first port that bid out under Tier 1 of PPA’s port terminal management regulatory framework, which aims to enhance port services by involving the private sector.