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Subic port privatization on track, says SBMA chief

THE Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is confident it can hand over management and operation of Subic port to a private operator as scheduled despite encountering some hitches at the start of the port modernization project.

SBMA chair Feliciano Salonga said the $215-million Port Development Project is 91.793% complete as of March 15, 2007 and on track to meet its June 2007 deadline.

“At the rate it’s going, it will meet the target date of completion. In fact, a positive variance of 2.572% was noted, meaning, the construction is a little ahead of schedule,” he said.

Early this week, SBMA unloaded two more goose neck-type quay gantry cranes to join two others previously installed at the port terminal in Leyte Wharf. Each gantry crane has a load-bearing capacity of 40.6-tons.

The acquisition of the four gantry cranes from Japan is a major component of the Port Development Project that will increase the port capacity of the container terminals when in full operation to 600,000 TEUs from the present 100,000 TEUs.

Through a concession agreement with the SBMA, Subic Bay International Terminal Corporation (SBITC) will submit a technical and financial proposal to operate the New Container Terminal (NCT)-1 according to the Terms of Reference prepared by the SBMA. Thus, upon agreement between both parties, the SBITC proposal will be subjected to a Swiss challenge bidding where it will be pitted against other bidders. The operator for NCT-2 will be selected after a three-week international competitive bidding.

NCT-1 facility will then be turned over to the winning bidder, including the container yard, four gantry cranes and other buildings. The winner will build its own administration building, engineering office, truck holding area, refueling station and field office.


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