Three sites up for sale may lift port productivity

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 February, 2006, 12:00am

The government is to put up for tender three plots of land in the Kwai Chung-Tsing Yi basin in a move container terminal operators say could raise productivity at Hong Kong port.

The site likely to draw the most interest is a 10-hectare plot on Tsing Yi next to the oil depots, as it can house much-needed port back-up and logistics services and may attract bids from companies such as DHL as well as the terminal operators.

The other two waterfront sites, north and south of Container Terminal 9, are suitable only for barges which mainly handle transshipment cargo from the Pearl River Delta.

'The barge-handling capacity could be easily increased by 20 to 30 per cent from the basis of the existing facility and more back-up land could help to further increase the productivity of the port,' said Peter Wong, senior vice-president Asia-Pacific for DP World, which operates CT3 and CT8.

Last year, Hong Kong moved 22.4 million teu (20-foot equivalent units) with 14.3 million teu being handled by the 24 berths in the nine container terminals.

The throughput per berth is 600,000 teu, which could be upgraded to 700,000 or 800,000 teu a year provided that new facilities and back-up yards are available, according to an industry veteran.

Janice Tse Siu-wa, deputy secretary of the Economic Development and Labour Bureau, said the land was put up for tender following suggestions made in Master Plan 2020 carried out by GHK Consultancy.

The report recommended a re-allocation of adjacent port land to terminal operators on long-term leases for use as container depots to enhance throughput capacity by 1.7 million teu per year.