ICTSI expects concession agreement for Nigerian port in August
International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), which has proven to be the trailblazer in the Philippines and abroad, invests $ 300 million for the container terminal in Nigeria and express interest to bid for Davao port, PNA reports.
ICTSI Chairman and President Enrique K. Razon Jr. said ICTSI is pursuing the ongoing privatization opportunities in Africa.
A number of African countries has been opening up their gateway ports to privatization.
“We are now negotiating the final concession agreement for container terminal in Nigeria. It’s a sub-concession with Tolaram group, having a joint venture with the Nigerian Ports Authority,” Razon said.
“We hope to finalize the concession agreement in August. Investments amount to $ 300 million,” he added.
The African region provides good opportunity for growth and ICTSI is bent on participating in such growth.
In the country, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) plans to bid out the Davao port also known as Sasa Wharf.
PPA General Manager Juan Sta. Ana said the Davao port modernization project is submitted to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) board's Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) for approval.
“We will have it bid,” Sta. Ana said.
“We want to bid. We don’t want no bidding,” Razon stressed.
ICTSI’s subsidiary, the Davao Integrated Port Stevedoring Service Corporation (DIPSSCOR), handles the cargo handling of the said port.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) prepared the Terms of Reference for the port’s privatization.
PPA Davao said volume growth at Sasa wharf is at a rate of seven to 10 percent every year for the last eight years.
The Port of Davao has a total cargo throughput of 5.194 million metric tons in 2010.
Shipping lines such as American President Lines (APL) and Maersk Lines are pushing for the port privatization due to congestion.
The vessels average waiting time before discharging at the port is around 40 hours and they spend extra time, tantamount to additional bunker fuel cost.
ICTSI is also preparing the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT)’s berth 7 in case of accelerated growth in Manila.
“Despite our expansion overseas, we remain bullish on the Philippines and it will always be our priority. And when the time comes for even brisker Philippine trade, the MICT will be ready with berth 7,” said Razon.
“We’re looking at spending around P3.5 billion to P4 billion for berth 7, because we see continuous growth,” he added.
ICTSI is also promoting heavily on its Subic port to be able to entice more shippers to use its new container terminals 1 and 2 (NCT1 and NCT2) with combined capacity of 600,000 TEUs.
Businessmen said in order to increase the cargo traffic in Subic and Batangas port, PPA must issue a policy to shift foreign cargoes from the Port of Manila to Batangas or Subic.
Christian Gonzalez, ICTSI Vice President and MICT general manager, said ICTSI makes sure that the necessary capacity in ports they operate are in placed.
“If Subic port grows, we will be there and we will bring the capacity. We don’t make two ports, MICT and Subic compete against each other. The market will drive where the volume goes,” he said.
Razon said “MICT will serve the cargo traffic volume in Manila, but you have markets in Central Luzon and Southern Luzon for Subic, which they hope to grow as well.”