Sunday, July 31, 2011
P2.4-B international container seaport to rise in Aurora ecozone
CASIGURAN, Aurora, August 1, 2011-Roberto “Robbie” K. Mathay, president and chief executive officer of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) said that a P2.4-billion international container seaport is set to be constructed here by the South Korean government aimed to transform this economic zone into a logistics hub for exportation of agro-fishery, timber and industrial products in central Luzon and northern Luzon.
“The project will be funded through Official Development Assistance of the Korean government with counterpart funding from the national government,” Mathay said, adding that a consortium composed of the Dasan Engineering and DY Engineering companies completed the feasibility study for the international container seaport after three months. The study was funded through a P15-million grant from the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund.
“It’s a very huge and important project. The modern container port, which is projected to be finished in four years, will complement the domestic seaport and will attract business locators; thus, spurring economic development not only in Central Luzon but also in Cagayan Valley through the export products of five (5) provinces in Northern Luzon,” Mathay said.
He furthered that the project can accommodate a 50,000-metric ton capacity ship and will have berthing facilities, superstructure facilities such as a multipurpose wharf with storage yards, passenger wharf and fishery wharf for marine products; cargo handling equipment such as 350-ton capacity harbor cranes, forklifts with a maximum 25-ton capacity and sewage treatment facilities.
“This container seaport will serve as alternative gateway for cargo destined for Manila and considerably reduce cargo transport cost and transport time. The current cost of transporting a 20-foot container van from the Manila North Harbor to Casiguran is at P75,000,” he said.
“Imagine if we have a container port here, this will be drastically lessened. The port has the ability to provide more convenient, efficient and cost-effective shipping services for exporters,” he furthered.
Mathay said that instead of unloading marine products such as yellow fin to Navotas, these can be processed in Casiguran, similar to what they do in fish ports in General Santos City and Davao.
It is estimated that the container seaport will have a cargo volume of 733,000 tons per year under the feasibility study of the project. The planned jetty-type, 210-meter long multipurpose wharf, will allow berthing at both sides of a maximum size vessel of up to 20,000 dead-weight tons (dwt).
Kent Avestruz, APECO manager for corporate planning said that the passenger wharf is projected to provide a berth of 100 meters which allows 400-gross ton capacity coastal cruise vessels to berth. The fishery wharf will be equipped with a 100-meter berth for small scale ships and ship repair facilities.
The study revealed the two types of cargo in the area: the cargo produced within the economic zone and the cargo from other ports. It stated that this is where the container seaport will play an important role in handling the cargo from the freeport zone which is located at the rear of the port.
A high-level team from the consortium led by project coordinator Shan Sheonghan Kim conducted an ocular inspection of the site of the container port project in Pagas Point in Barangay Dibacong along the Casiguran Bay last January. Kim was accompanied in the trip by three (3) engineering coordinators Se Wook Yeo, Ji Hoon Lee and Hyuk-Yoon Kwon.
“The container seaport project will accommodate the produce not only of Aurora but also in the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino,” he said. (Jason de Asis)
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