Port operator Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI) inaugurated on July 10 its newly installed quay cranes and rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes, new wharf, and just-completed container yard at Manila North Harbor, following the near completion of the first phase of its modernization program.
MNHPI said it invested a total of $23.5 million in the two new quay cranes and seven new RTGs ordered from Chinese multinational engineering company ZPMC, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cranes.
Each quay crane costs around $6.5 million and each RTG, $1.5 million.
With the additional equipment, North Harbor’s fleet now totals eight quay cranes and 27 RTGs.
Currently, too, North Harbor has 850 meters of continuous quay length, following the completion of the 200-meter wharf that connects Piers 14 and 16, MNHPI chief executive officer Richard Barclay told PortCalls in an interview on the sidelines of the blessing of the new container yard and equipment.
The new container yard increases the terminal’s capacity to 2.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually. Last year, MNHPI handled 1.3 million TEUs, 18% higher than the 1.1 million TEUs serviced in 2015 and higher than the targeted volume of 1.19 million TEUs.
The completed extension of the front wharf of Pier 16 to 14 and reclamation of Slip 15 is the last part of Phase 1 of MNHPI’s modernization program for North Harbor. The port operator holds a 25-year contract to develop, manage, operate, and maintain the port.
According to Barclay, the increased calls by shipping lines at North Harbor have doubled the use of cranes in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period last year. He noted that the operator is hitting 40 berth moves per hour from first line to last line, the highest in the country.
The use of RTGs, he added, is also better for servicing trucks, and makes container handling and location management more efficient and productive.
With work on Phase 1 almost finished, Barclay said they will have to sit down with the Philippine Ports Authority to discuss works for Phase 2, which includes further expansion of the container yard and continuous quay length.
Earlier, Barclay estimated the total cost of Phase 1 to be P10 billion, while the complete modernization of the port may reach almost P20 billion, higher than the contract price of P14 billion, due to unforeseen works that have to be undertaken.
MNHPI’s next major project, Barclay said, is to develop Piers 14 to 12 all the way to Pier 8 to give the terminal a total of 1.7 kilometers of continuous quay length. This will further increase North Harbor’s capacity to about 3.5 million to 4 million TEUs annually. Additionally, it will allow North Harbor to accommodate 10 vessels of 140 meters in length at any one time. Domestic ships range from 95 meters to 150 meters in length.
This year, MNHPI is eyeing a 5% to 6% increase in container volume, even as the volume of breakbulk cargoes is expected to remain the same since more shippers are opting to use containers.
Passenger traffic at the terminal has increased by 5% compared to last year. – Text and photos by Roumina Pablo