Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has granted approval to International Container Terminal Service (ICTSI) to expand the capacity of Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

In the first phase of the expansion, ICTSI will start the construction of berths 7 and 8 at MICT on 15 October.

The expansion is expected to increase the depth of the berths from 13.5m to 14.5m and will provide additional capability to MICT to serve the world’s larger box ships and the increasing volumes of cargo carried by the ships.

ICTSI will build berth 7 in line with its current 25-year-long contract with PPA to upgrade, expand and develop MICT.

ICTSI has already allocated more than $380m for capital expenditure, including the expansion of MICT, for this year.

ICTSI Global Corporate head Christian Gonzalez said: “On top of our commitments, the construction of these berths is our response to the need for an increase in capacity and increased productivity over the longer term.

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“The construction of these berths is our response to the need for an increase in capacity and increased productivity over the longer term.”

“We also need to accommodate system changes such as a steady increase in vessel size, the consolidation of major shipping players, and the introduction of rail services.”

In the second phase of expansion, which is yet to receive final approvals, ICTSI plans to develop a full back up area and yard space for the future berths 9 and 10 at MICT.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February. ICTSI is also expected to develop yard space along with berths 9 and 10.

Upon completion, the new yard space will enable MICT to handle the increasing impact of weather-related issues and changes in the regulatory requirements.

In order to complement these capacity improvements, MICT is scheduled to receive 16 new rubber-tired gantries (RTG) cranes next year. The first eight RTGs are expected to enter service by April.