New Jurong Port terminal a boost for lighter operators
Better facilities to provide essential service to ocean going vessels
Vincent Wee, Business Times 29 Oct 08;
SINGAPORE'S lighter and ship-chandling operators now have bigger and better facilities to work from with the opening of the new Penjuru Terminal at Jurong Port.
The opening of the new purpose-built terminal with 150 metres of berth space and 10,000 sq m of land area was a significant milestone for the operators.
Though not so well known, since the earliest days of Singapore's port operations, they have been providing a basic but essential service to ocean going vessels passing through Singapore by making timely deliveries of sea-stores and ship-spares to these vessels moored at the eastern and western anchorages.
'Lighter operations are an essential part of Singapore's maritime sector. As our port continues to grow, we can expect the scale of the lightering and ship supply operations to grow in tandem as well. The opening of Penjuru Terminal demonstrates our commitment to work in close collaboration with our key stakeholders to upgrade our lighter terminal infrastructure, to support the continued success of Singapore as a port,' said permanent secretary at the Ministry of Transport BG (NS) Choi Shing Kwok.
'The growth of Singapore as a maritime hub is intertwined with the dynamism of our lighterage and ship-chandling companies from the early days when their operations were concentrated in Telok Ayer basin. Their services form a crucial link for the operational efficiency of the Port of Singapore today,' said Jurong Port chairman Barry Desker.
The operators relocated from the over 20-year-old Pasir Panjang Lighter Wharves to Penjuru Terminal and have been operating from there since June. The relocation was necessitated by the need to provide higher standards of service and efficiency to keep pace with the growing expectations of the shipping industry.
Currently, 11 out of about 20 lighter operators in Singapore operate from Penjuru Terminal.
The ship-chandling trade meanwhile has about 300 ship-chandlers of which about 225 operate from the new terminal.
By year-end, about 15,000 lighter calls handling over 365,000 tonnes are expected at the Penjuru Terminal.
The collaboration among government agencies like the Maritime and Port Authority, JTC Corporation, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and Singapore Customs, the Singapore Ship-Chandlers Association, terminal users and Jurong Port enabled the smooth transition and functioning of the new facility.