Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Dubai-based DP World to jointly promote the services of the planned No. 7 Container Terminal at Kaohsiung Port to the global market and attract investments in the facility from large shipping firms and marine terminal operators.
The MOU was signed by TIPC chairman Chang Chih-ching (張志清) and DP World chief operating officer Anil Wats.
TIPC said it is the first time since its establishment in 2012 that it has signed a partnership agreement with one of the world’s largest marine ports and terminal operators.
DP World is the company’s first partner in the Middle East, it said.
Based on TIPC’s plan, the No. 7 Container Terminal would be equipped with five wharves and cover 145.7 hectares. The construction is to be divided into two stages, with the first stage scheduled to be completed in 2018.
The terminal is to be able to accommodate 2.25 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) once the first stage of construction is completed, which involves building half of the wharves.
The wharves could be accessed by ships carrying 22,000 TEUs, the company said.
On the partnership with DP World, Chang said that the company is the third-largest marine terminal operator and manages 77 operating marine and inland terminals in 40 nations.
He said that three of the terminals were stated by the Journal of Commerce as having among the highest productivity in the world, including Jebei Ali Port in Dubai, as well as Tianjin Port and Qingdao Port in China.
“We hope that the two companies can work together to attract marine liners interested in transferring goods through Taiwan, making Taiwan one of the world’s important hubs for ocean liners,” Chang said. “It is our hope that we can find interested investors and jointly form a company next year, which would start planning for the development of the container terminal. The terminal is scheduled to begin operations in 2018.”
Wats compared the partnership between TIPC and DP World to that between a rabbit and a turtle in a race, in which they need to cross a river.
He said that because both animals want to win the race, they decide that they should cross the river together, with the rabbit climbing on the back of the turtle.
Wats added that the partnership is also DP World’s first project in Taiwan, describing it as “truly ground-breaking.”
“People say that the global economy is cyclical, but we are going to build an economy that is going to weather the storm and withstand the test of time. We are aiming for long-term development and hope to remain for 25 to 50 years,” Wats said.
Wats also said in an interview with reporters that the company chose to work with TIPC because of its transparent corporate culture, as well as its sound and complete marine-port infrastructure.
The two companies still need to discuss several issues following the signing of the MOU, such as stipulating key performance indicators acceptable to both parties, he added.
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