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Tuas Port opens officially, will be 'critical engine' driving Singapore's economy: PM Lee

Tuas Port will be the "port of the future" anchoring the upcoming Western Gateway. 

Tuas Port opens officially, will be 'critical engine' driving Singapore's economy: PM Lee

Mr Syed Mohamed Ali, PSA’s Senior Quay Crane Operator (in polo t-shirt), speaks to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong about double trolley quay crane remote console operations at the Tuas Port Control Centre on Sep 1, 2022. (Photo: PSA Singapore)

SINGAPORE: Tuas Port, which will anchor the future Western Gateway, officially opened on Thursday (Sep 1) with three berths operational.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hailed the mega project as a port of the future and a critical engine driving Singapore's economy.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, Mr Lee said Tuas Port will position Singapore well to "support the growth in maritime traffic and global trade and strengthen our connectivity and capability to provide efficient and reliable services". 

"It will reinforce our status as an international maritime centre, and enable many related industries to flourish," said Mr Lee. 

Tuas Port, expected to be the world's largest fully automated port upon completion, can accommodate the world's largest container ships and will be able to handle larger vessels built in the future. It will also be able to manage a larger number and greater density of vessel movements safely and efficiently.

The mega port will also anchor the future Western Gateway, serving nearby industries at the Jurong Lake District, Jurong Innovation District, and Jurong and Tuas industrial areas.

"Being closer to the port means faster and cheaper port services and turnaround. It means more efficient production for their products to be exported to international markets. Sectors such as advanced manufacturing, cold-chain, e-commerce, and logistics will benefit the most," said Mr Lee. 

Reclamation works for the first phase of the mega port project were completed late last year, with reclamation works for Phase 2 under way.  

Mr Lee had said at this year's National Day Rally that the Government decided to consolidate all port operations at the existing Tanjong Pagar, Brani, Keppel and Pasir Panjang terminals into one mega port at Tuas. 

The shift will free up prime waterfront land from Shenton Way to Pasir Panjang for the future Greater Southern Waterfront. 

Thursday morning's ceremony was also attended by container port operator PSA International group chairman Peter Voser, ministers, as well as industry stakeholders. 

Apart from being a strategic point, Tuas Port will also create more opportunities and better jobs for workers, Mr Lee said in his speech. 

"PSA already has a professional and trained team. They will continue to train and upgrade their staff... to handle the next generation of hardware and software deployed at the port," Mr Lee said. 

Port workers have embraced new technologies and skills which will improve their productivity and make their jobs more comfortable and attractive, according to Mr Lee. 

Mr Lee stressed that the port plays a critical role in connecting Singapore to the global economy, noting that one third of the global container trade and a quarter of the global seaborne oil trade passes through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore annually. 

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders worked tirelessly to keep the Port of Singapore open and running smoothly 24 hours a day, Mr Lee noted. Singapore served as the "catch-up port" that shippers and shipping lines went to in order to resolve operational challenges. 

Mr Lee stressed that the hard work must continue in providing efficient and reliable services in this "critical artery of trade between East and West", in order to connect Southeast Asia to the rest of the world.

"That is how Singapore established ourselves as the world’s busiest transhipment port," said Mr Lee. 

Tuas Port, due to be completed in the 2040s, will be able to handle 65 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) annually, double the current capacity of Singapore's port. 

Source: CNA/wt(ac)


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