Kaohsiung plans to build a deep-water container terminal to attract the world’s largest container ships, a city harbor official said yesterday.
The terminal would consist of five 17m-deep wharves, the deepest wharves in Taiwan, Harbor master Tsai Ting-yi (蔡丁義) said.
The Beijing-based, government-owned China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co (中遠) has signed a letter of intent to invest in the terminal after foreign shipping companies and port operators were invited to invest in the terminal. Interest was highest from China, Tsai said by telephone.
Kaohsiung Harbor is the nation’s largest port and was the world’s third-largest container port in the early 1990s.
Its world ranking has slipped since then, falling to No. 8 in 2007 and 12th last year, because of the expansion of foreign ports and Taiwan’s six-decade ban on sea links with China. Sea links with China were opened in December.
In an effort to boost competitiveness, Kaohsiung Harbour began construction of the International Container Harbor in January last year. The latest deep-water terminal is part of that development.
The harbor has five container terminals with a total of 23 wharves — three 16m-deep wharves and the rest with an average depth of 14.5m.