April 29th, 2011

Subic Bay Free Port all set for Expansion

Subic Bay Freeport, one of the Philippine’s top ports, is all set to expand and boost investments this year.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority is now aiming to establish and expand its facilities in line with its goal to be a one-stop logistics center. The expansion would entail the complete privatization of the New Container Terminal-2 (NCT-2) and the Naval Supply Depot (NSD), the expansion of oil depots and the grain terminal in Subic, and the development of a floating logistics center for mineral transshipment.

“We’re all set to do all these this year so that we can promote more cargo traffic for Subic,” said SBMA administrator and CEO Armand Arreza. “I think that after we have built all the cargo terminals and related infrastructure, what remains now is the challenge to build up volume,” he added.

“The New Container Terminal-2 has been bid out last year and, in fact, was scheduled for awarding in October. Unfortunately, because of the delay brought about by Executive Order No. 2, we have not been able to announce the grant of award for the concession rights for NCT-2,” said Arreza.

Regarding the expansion of oil depots, the SBMA executive said two projects are ongoing: One by Coastal Petroleum, for a one million barrel capacity storage facility, and another by Pure Petroleum, for a half-million barrel-capacity facility at the Boton wharf.

“All in all, these two expansions would bring the total capacity for Subic Freeport to almost four mil- lion barrels handling capacity. That positions Subic as the largest in the Philippines and makes us a very strong regional player for oil storage,” said Arreza.

The SBMA is also currently seeking to expedite the development of at least eight identified priority investment zones this year. These include the redevelopment of Subic’s Central Tourist District, rezoning of the Subic Gateway Park for commercial and mixed-use development, conversion of the 16-hectare marshalling yard into the Gateway.

Arreza said the development of new investment sites is crucial to sustaining Subic’s development momentum in face of Subic’s limitation in available open space.

Developed mainly as a base for the US Navy, the Subic free port zone has a land area of only 55,102 hectares, most of which are triple-canopy forests designated as part of the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS).