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Cosco Shipping Ports to add new berth to its joint venture container terminal with PSA

CHINA'S Cosco Shipping Ports is launching a new berth at its joint venture container terminal with PSA in Singapore.

The two parties inked a memorandum of understanding on Thursday for the berth, which will be Cosco Shipping Ports' third at the Pasir Panjang Terminal.

This will raise the handling capacity of the terminal, Cosco-PSA Terminal, to a total of three million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year.

Cosco Shipping Ports in March last year had signed a supplemental agreement with PSA, which replaced the original two berths in Cosco-PSA Terminal at Pasir Panjang Terminal 1 with three new and larger berths at Pasir Panjang Terminal 5.

The first two berths started operations earlier on Jan 1 this year, with an annual handling capacity of two million (TEUs).

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Operations at the new berth will begin on Jan 1, 2018 - with the aim of meeting the new requirements from shipping alliances and mega-vessels, as well as maximising the utilisation rate of the berths, said Cosco Shipping Ports and PSA Corporation in a joint statement on Thursday.

Like the first two berths, the new berth will be supported by an automated yard, which will allow for more efficient berthing arrangements, and enable the terminal to increase productivity and enhance its service capability and quality.

The statement noted that the agreements are "timely" as the importance of Singapore as a pivotal regional maritime hub grows in tandem with the advent of mega-vessels and new alliances in the shipping industry. The Ocean Alliance, for instance, which includes Cosco Shipping Corporation as a major member, commenced operations on April 1.

"With the strategic reshuffle of shipping routes by Ocean Alliance, throughput will continue to grow at Singapore's Port," added the statement.

"The cooperation will further deepen the collaboration between Cosco Shipping Ports and PSA, enabling the two companies to seize the opportunities of globalisation and further strengthen the role of the Singapore Port as a global container transshipment hub, reinforcing the shipping links between China and countries in South-east Asia."

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