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Tuas Port allows opportunity to rethink shipping: PM Lee

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Moving Singapore’s port operations to Tuas Port goes beyond just having a larger terminal, but offers an opportunity to rethink the future of shipping, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

MOVING Singapore’s port operations to Tuas Port goes beyond just having a larger terminal, but offers an opportunity to rethink the future of shipping, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

He was speaking at an event to mark port operator PSA Corporation's new chapter at Tuas Port, which is scheduled to commence operations in 2021.

"Because the port will be on a completely greenfield site, we can design from a clean slate and make innovation and sustainability key features. Tuas Port will also give us sufficient capacity to anchor shipping lines and alliances and host the world’s biggest container," Mr Lee said in a speech.

PSA's three city terminals in Tanjong Pagar, Keppel and Brani will move to Tuas Port by 2027, while Pasir Panjang Terminals will be consolidated by 2040.

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When completed, Tuas Port is expected to handle 65 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers annually, up from 36.3 million in 2018.

"Through this consolidation, there is much opportunity for us to tighten our local supply chains, make them more efficient and grow this new ecosystem in Singapore," Peter Voser, group chairman of PSA International, said in a speech.

Mr Voser said Tuas is a blank canvas that will allow PSA to bring together new technology and enhanced connectivity for logistics partners and beneficial cargo owners.

Tuas Port will incorporate intelligent data-driven operations to bring about automation, which will help improve efficiency. For example, horizontal transport of containers between wharf and yard will be undertaken by a fleet of driverless automated guided vehicles operating round the clock. A smart grid will also power the port’s network of energy efficient buildings and equipment.

Beyond handling containers, PSA said Tuas Port will also be a "key nucleus and multiplier of a wider Tuas Ecosystem", which will comprise supply chain nodes for related industries.

To be progressively developed in four phases, Tuas Port’s first berths are scheduled to start operations in 2021. When completed in 2040, Tuas Port is expected to be the world’s single largest fully automated terminal in the world.

Earlier in the morning, PSA held a torch relay accompanied by staff, unions and management, starting from its first container berth in Tanjong Pagar Terminal, which was opened in 1972. The torch made its way through PSA’s city terminals Keppel and Brani and through Pasir Panjang Terminals. PSA said the relay route signifies the development and transformation of PSA over the years.

The torch was then handed to Mr Lee who placed it on the grounds of Tuas Port to symbolise the start of a new chapter for PSA.