ICTSI cleared to start P11 billion Iloilo port upgrade

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
ICTSI cleared to start P11 billion Iloilo port upgrade
New reach stackers are set to arrive at the Visayas Container Terminal (VCT) in Iloilo City as part of its ongoing modernization program.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Tycoon Enrique Razon’s International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) has received the green light to commence its P11-billion development of one of the largest ports in Visayas.

ICTSI yesterday received from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) the Notice to Proceed (NTP) with the 25-year contract to operate and maintain the Visayas Container Terminal (VCT), formerly the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex, marking the start of another big-ticket undertaking for ICTSI in the Philippines.

With the NTP, ICTSI can commence executing its plans for VCT, a concession that it landed after committing to spend P10.53 billion for the project.

Broken down, ICTSI will spend P5.81 billion to rehabilitate and upgrade VCT and P4.72 billion to pay the concession fees. Primarily, the company wants to bring in additional cargo equipment to boost the trade capacity of the port.

On top of this, ICTSI plans to reorganize the terminal infrastructure of VCT. The company aims to bolster the productivity and expand the services of the port to accommodate the growing trade volume in Western Visayas.

ICTSI executive vice president Christian Gonzales said VCT would serve foreign vessels only, but will welcome domestic ships in its first five years under ICTSI.

Boasting an operational quay length of 627 meters, the VCT can handle up to 100,000 TEUs and at least two million metric tons of non-containerized cargo every year.

For 2024, ICTSI is raising its capital expenditures by 34 percent to $450 million, from $336.32 million in 2023, to fund the delivery of its expansion pipeline, including the VCT.

Globally, the Razon-led logistics giant is raising the capacities of its ports, particularly in the Philippines, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mexico. It is also working on completing the development of the East Java Multipurpose Terminal in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the PPA is pursuing the privatization of another set of ports in the regions, this time, the Ports of Balingoan and Jasaan. This marks the second time that the agency is bidding out the 15-year concession for the Misamis Oriental ports.

Before 2023 ended, the PPA declared a failed bidding for the privatization of the two ports after receiving zero offers from any company.

For this round, the agency set the minimum concession at P234.9 million, exclusive of all taxes, with the bids scheduled to be opened on May 8.

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