MCT before its opening

MINDANAO Container Terminal (MCT), one of the newest facilities in the southern part of the country, is seeing volume growth of at least a single digit by year-end following the surge of agricultural products it handled for this month alone.

MCT port manager Dante Clarito said they are expecting to handle at least 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) for December alone, mainly coming from agricultural products.

“We are expecting to end 2009 handling some 115,000 TEUs, which is 5.5 percent higher than the 109,000 TEUs posted in the entire 2008,” Clarito said.

MCT is being operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc., the country’s largest port operator.

Clarito said they are still within target after the continued flow of cargoes from its major clients, such as Nestle Philippines, for the import sector and wood-based products for the export sector.

During the January-November period, MCT posted a 6.3-percent increase in containerized cargo to 107,902 TEUs from last year’s 101,422 TEUs.

The figure, however, is still far from the terminal’s capacity of 270,000 TEUs.

MCT, located in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, is being geared to become one of the gateways in the southern part of the country. It has a container yard with a capacity of 6,817 TEUs.

Among the products from the region include pineapples, banana, meat and other perishables, and agricultural and marine products.

Earlier estimates showed that cargo volume in the Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro area is expected to increase by some 150,000 metric tons, or 4.5 percent, annually from 2007 through 2010.

Conventional cargo is expected to increase by some 50,000 metric tons and containerized cargo by some 120,000 TEUs annually.

MCT has a 300-meter berth space, with depth of 13 meters, and can handle two container vessels at the same time. MCT has two gantry cranes and four rubber-tired gantries.

Last year MCT handled 109,438 containers, more than half of which were handled by ICTSI, when it took over the operations.

In March 2008 ICTSI bested the bids of Asian Terminals Inc. and Harbour Centre Port Terminals Inc., both of which operate its flagship facility in the Port of Manila, for the 25-year concession of MCT.

The 24-hectare MCT is about 20 kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro City, where another terminal owned by Philippine Ports Authority is also in operation.

Phividec, the Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corp., was operating the port before ICTSI after two failed biddings during the past years.

from www.businessmirror.com

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