SINGAPORE: A caisson, a watertight structure about the height of a 10-storey HDB block, was installed at the site of the upcoming Tuas mega port on Thursday (Jul 4) to mark the start of its second phase of development.
At 387 hectares, this phase is the largest of the total four to be reclaimed. When fully operational, it will feature 21 deep-water berths, offering a capacity of 21 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo annually.
The completed Tuas mega port will be able to handle up to 65 million TEUs a year.
A total of 227 of the caissons will eventually be transported offshore and sunk into the water to form part of the wharf structure, which will span 8.6km.
BOOST FOR NAVIGATIONAL SAFETY
Senior Minister of State for Transport, Dr Lam Pin Min, said that with the expected increase in vessel arrivals, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is growing its capabilities in ensuring navigational safety.
“MPA will be enhancing its seaward capabilities by phasing in a fleet of next-generation patrol craft from February 2020 over the next three years," said Dr Lam, who launched the first caisson on Thursday.
"All seven new patrol crafts will be equipped with enhanced navigation, surveillance and response capabilities for search and rescue, man-overboard, oil spills and ferry incidents," he added.
The first six are scheduled to be commissioned in February next year, while a larger craft will be launched by the first quarter of 2021.
The Tuas Terminal will be developed in four phases over 30 years, with the Phase Two reclamation work targeted for completion by 2027.
It will be the first terminal in Singapore to be physically and digitally integrated with the wider supply chain network. This is to allow stakeholders along the supply chain – vessels, cargo owners and logistics service providers – to better coordinate cargo flow.
As part of these digitalisation efforts, the first phase of MPA’s Maritime Single Window portal will be launched by the end of the year. The portal aims to make it easier for vessels to obtain port and regulatory clearances, and allow for seamless information exchange between port players.
Dr Lam added that the relocation of the current four port facilities in Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang, Keppel and Pulau Brani would also help to ensure connectivity.
“The proximity of Tuas Terminal to the industrial hinterland and the shipyards forms a more integrated supply chain ecosystem. This could reduce logistics cost and create new opportunities for synergistic port-industry activities. The possibilities are immense," he said.