Tuas Port opens with 3 berths as it progresses to become world’s largest fully automated port

Port group PSA Corporation Ltd (PSA) officially inaugurated Tuas Port in Singapore, on Thursday, 1 September, with the first three berths operational at Phase One of the development.

Opening ceremony; Source: PSA

The terminal is progressively developed in four phases. When fully operational in the 2040s, it is expected to be the world’s largest fully automated container terminal in a single location, with an annual handling capacity of 65 million TEUs. Namely, in 2040s, all existing container terminals will be relocated to one single location in Tuas at the southwestern end. Tuas Port has 23 metres of draft alongside, with a total berth length of 26km. At present, 500 staff are working on site.

The Next Generation Port (NGP) in Tuas is planned to be an intelligent, sustainable and green port.

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Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, saying, inter alia, that as more berths come on-stream in the future, the Tuas Port’s significance will grow, in three ways.

First, Tuas will be the port of the future. It will be the world’s largest fully-automated port. This will position Singapore well to support the growth in maritime traffic and global trade and strengthen our connectivity and capability to provide efficient and reliable services. Tuas Port can accommodate not just the largest container ships in the world today, but even larger vessels that may be built in the future. We will also manage the larger number and greater density of vessel movements safely and efficiently. For example, MPA’s next-generation vessel traffic management system (VTMS) will use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to predict and prevent potential collisions,” he said.

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As explained by Loong, one key design feature of the port is sustainability, as PSA aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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Specifically, port equipment like yard cranes and prime mover vehicles will be automated and run on electricity. In addition, port buildings will be designed to be green and energy efficient and the port will have smart grid solutions and battery energy storage systems to optimise energy use.

Secondly, Tuas Port will be a critical engine driving the Singapore economy, and finally the port will open up more job opportunities for workers. The Prime Minister’s full speech can be viewed in the video below.

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PSA said that human capital remains at the core as smart technologies and intelligent data-driven operations management systems are deployed at an unprecedented scale to deliver service excellence.

“Working closely with the Singapore Port Workers Union and the Port Officers’ Union to upskill and retrain its workforce, PSA has ensured that all staff are well-equipped to take on new and higher-value roles created by the industry’s digital transformation efforts. Intelligent automation supported by a future-ready workforce will cement PSA’s position as the world’s largest transhipment hub, driving trade growth and global connectivity for Singapore’s future economy,” the port group said.

As an enabler of global trade, PSA has contributed to Singapore’s success as an open and connected trading economy. Tuas Port provides us with an opportunity to reinvigorate this mission for the digital age and I believe it will further boost trade growth flowing through Singapore. By dovetailing our port operations with the greater ecosystem in Tuas and through collaborating with like-minded partners for integrated intermodal solutions, we can better navigate the growing complexities of global supply chains,” Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO of PSA International, said.