Home » Breaking News, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » NEDA to decide on fate of P9B Cebu international seaport
The existing port is congested.

Last year, Cebu port (in photo) suffered congestion as a result of growing volumes. The proposed P9-billion port in Tayud, Consolacion, eight kilometers from the existing base port, would have a bigger yard space and deeper draft to accommodate bigger vessels.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will seek approval from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board to construct a P9-billion international port in Consolacion, Cebu.

Cebu Port Authority (CPA) general manager Edmund Tan in a text message to PortCalls confirmed that DOTC will be asking for the green light from the NEDA Board, headed by President Benigno Aquino III, to construct an international port in Tayud, Consolacion.

The proposed gateway is among CPA’s measures to mitigate congestion in the existing base port in Cebu City. Cebu International Port (CIP) faced berth and yard congestion issues last year and early this year due to an increase in cargo volume.

After CPA took steps to ease congestion, including recently leasing 1.2 hectares for additional container yard space, CIP’s yard utilization as of August has gone down to around 60% from a high of 92% at the end of 2014.

In an email to PortCalls, CPA said the proposed new facility “will add to the existing capacity of the international port for incoming and outgoing cargo traffic and shipping traffic.”

It will also provide an impetus for the development of industries due to improved cargo handling capacity, CPA added.

Tayud in Consolacion, eight kilometers from the Cebu base port, was chosen as the project site “due to better expandability and no interference with other development plans,” CPA noted.

Plans to build a new port have long been on the drawing board. Before DOTC commissioned a Korean study team for the project, the Japan International Cooperation Agency already had a feasibility study completed in 2002.

Last year, CPA tried to jump start the transfer of the international port to Tayud. In its report, the Korean study team, DY Engineering, proposed a December 2015 target date for project implementation to cover bidding and other consulting activities. By August 2016, construction activities, including a detailed design, would have been started under the Korean plan, CPA said.

It is now not clear whether those deadlines may still be feasible.

The proposed port will be funded with overseas development assistance to be extended by the Korean government, CPA said.

The proposed gateway will have 500 meters of quay length, two berths, and a depth of 12 meters.

The container stockyard will measure 500 meters by 445 meters and have a total capacity of 3,600 ground slots with stack height of four containers.

“With increased capacity follows faster turn-around-time (TAT) and with deeper draft, bigger ships may be accommodated in the port, thus more cargoes will be carried by every vessel. With this development, cost of shipping will be lower as it will be ‘cheaper by the dozen’ and cost of doing business will be lower. If cost of doing business is lower, there will be better competition, and will in turn translate to lower cost of goods and services,” CPA explained.

The transfer “will be the answer to the demand for more capacity to handle the increasing cargo traffic for the growing economy of Cebu, not only for goods coming to Cebu Province but also for goods in Cebu and in the other parts of the country that will serve the ASEAN and global market.”

Overall, this will translate to improved quality of life as goods will be more affordable for the greater population, CPA said. – Roumina Pablo

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