Taiwan International Port Corp (TIPC) yesterday reported a net profit for last year of NT$6.5 billion (US$228.33 million), thanks to fees collected from wind power firms accessing the facilities at the Port of Taichung.
The number of containers handled at the nation’s five commercial seaports last year was down 4.61 percent to 15.29 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), TIPC chairman Lee Hsien-yi (李賢義) told a media briefing.
Aggregate revenue dropped 0.7 percent to NT$21.3 billion.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state-owned company saw a decline in income from cruise ship visits by NT$230 million, Lee said.
However, net profits rose 6.56 percent to NT$6.5 billion due to fees paid by wind energy firms for accessing the facilities at the Port of Taichung, he said.
The shipping business is expected to grow this year with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, the company said.
It expects about a 10 percent growth in revenue and profits this year as offshore wind power operators are about to complete installation of facilities this year.
The total tonnage of cargo handled at five commercial seaports was down 3.77 percent to 729.84 million tonnes, but the Port of Taichung hit a record high of 128.50 million tonnes, up 2.05 percent, the company said.
“Many factories suspended operations because of the pandemic, causing a decline in the cargoes transported via long-haul liners. Cargoes on the near-sea shipping lines were not affected by the pandemic. Taichung benefited because the port only has ships operating on near-sea shipping routes,” Port of Taichung president Sean Lu (盧展猷) said.
Despite the decline in the passengers and cargo volume last year, the company is confident that it would see a sharp rise in its core businesses in the post-pandemic era, Lee said.
Construction of the Kaohsiung Port Terminal is to be completed this year and would begin operations next year, he said.
The terminal would be able to accommodate cruise ships weighing more than 220,000 tonnes, he added.
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