Singapore awards $1.1 billion contract for second phase of mega-port project

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore on Wednesday announced a $1.1 billion plan to expand and modernize its port, the world’s second-biggest, but which is in fierce competition with several Chinese harbors including Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said it has awarded a project worth S$1.46 billion ($1.10 billion) for the second phase of its Tuas Terminal port development to a joint venture of firms, including Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction.

Other companies in the joint venture include Japan’s Penta-Ocean Construction Co Ltd and Boskalis International from the Netherlands.

Works under this phase will include the design and construction of 387 hectares (956 acres) of reclaimed land.

“The Tuas Terminal development is a testament to Singapore’s commitment to sustain its lead as a global maritime nation,” the MPA said in a statement.

Phase two is part of a four-stage development over 30 years, with the first phase of reclamation works scheduled to be completed by the early 2020s and the second phase in the mid-2020s.

The container terminal will have a capacity of about 65 million twenty-foot equivalent units when completed.

Part of the development is to move nearly all of the port facilities out of Singapore’s Central Business District westward to Tuas, a region of the city-state that is dominated by industrial developments.

Singapore is the world’s second-biggest port, after Shanghai, according to data from the World Shipping Council, benefiting from its location on the Strait of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes that connects Europe and the Middle East with Asia.

But the city-state faces competition from ports in China, which have increased their capacity in recent years.

Of the world’s top 10 container ports, seven are in China.

($1 = 1.3235 Singapore dollars)

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Henning Gloystein; Editing by Christian Schmollinger