International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) continues to roll out improvements and upgrades at its flagship Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), including environmentally sustainable initiatives.
The upgrades are designed not only to further ease transactions but more so to ensure stakeholder needs are addressed as well as providing for added safety and security for all port stakeholders.
ICTSI is fast-tracking the second phase development of MICT’s Berths 7 and 8, which will add full back-up areas for the future Berths 9 and 10. ICTSI is likewise refurbishing Berths 1 to 5 and their back up areas, including the installation of an additional 450 reefer plugs for 40 footers, and upgrading the yards of Berths 1 to 5.
Meanwhile, leading the charge towards an eco-friendlier port operation is the planned acquisition of eight new hybrid rubber tired gantries to add to the 32 hybrid RTG fleet acquired starting 2018. Expected to further improve service levels at the terminal, the new RTGs will further reduce emissions by 50 percent compared to previous RTGs.
ICTSI will also decommission MICT’s first quay crane this year, which will be replaced over the next three years by three new quay cranes – all capable of servicing larger vessels of over 12,500-TEU capacity.
Moving away from traditional halogen and sodium lamps, MICT recently completed upgrading the entire terminal, including its yard and crane lights, to the more energy-efficient LED lighting systems. Expected to eliminate light spills and glare while lowering energy consumption, the terminal expects to save around 1.8 million kWh/year and offset up to 1.09 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI executive vice president, says: “With our strong focus on environmental stewardship, we understand how technological innovation goes hand in hand with our thrust to improve our ports’ air quality, energy consumption, and waste and water management. In line with this, we continually invest in port infrastructure and facilities that enhance our operational efficiency while simultaneously helping minimize our environmental impact.”
A substantial part of the ICTSI Group’s 2022 budget has been earmarked for these MICT upgrades that will further strengthen MICT’s capacity to effectively serve the world’s larger box ships and the increasing volume that comes with a recovering economy.
Moreover, two environmental initiatives led by social responsibility arm ICTSI Foundation continue to gain ground.
Cameras have already been installed at the mouth of the Pasig River, the Philippine capital’s main waterway, as part of preliminary work for the Foundation’s partnership agreement with Finnish NGO RiverRecycle to pioneer a sustainable river waste collection system for MICT’s immediate communities.
To address the potential issue of ballast water contamination from foreign ships, the Foundation and the Diliman Science Research Institute continue to test prototypes for the Foundation’s Water Ballast Treatment System Project, which, upon completion, can easily be carried on and off large cargo vessels visiting MICT to decontaminate ballast water prior to release into the sea.
Looking at the long-term application, the device can be replicated and upscaled to help the Philippine Government comply with the International Maritime Organization regulations based on the Ballast Water Management Convention of 2004, which mandates all signatory countries to establish their own ballast water treatment systems by 2028.
Yard use remains low; ready for impact of ongoing trade disruptions
Despite the knock-on effects of ongoing global supply chain disruptions affecting major hubs, yard utilization at ICTSI’s flagship continues to be manageable, according to data from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). As of PPA’s September 2021 Performance Report, MICT’s average yard utilization is at 63.02 percent.
ICTSI continues to fast-track the movement of overstaying import containers out of the port of Manila to improve on its utilization rate as more imports loom.
To further improve the mobility of trucks inside the terminal, an additional truck ingress, equipped with optical character recognition, was made operational last April with additional automation to further improve gate service.
The MICT also continues to engage with the Bureau of Customs to continue to improve services in relation to the unimpeded and online release of cargo release to include reduced releasing time from filing of entry and more seamless X-ray and inspection procedures.