Hutchison Ports, a global terminal operator, has revealed that it will spend US$ 600 million to open a fully remote-controlled terminal, Terminal D, at Thailand’s largest commercial port of Laem Chabang.
The new terminal will be the first in the world to control both ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and container yard cranes remotely from a control room, according to Stephen Ashworth, Managing Director of Hutchison Ports' Thailand and Southeast Asia arm, who revealed details about the project at a press conference.
Ashworth said the project would be working towards a completion date of 2024.
Terminal D will have a total quay length of 1,700 metres and add 3.5 million TEU to the port’s total container handling capacity.
Hutchison Ports recently expanded its handling capacity in Thailand with some of the largest quay and gantry cranes in the world as part of its development of Terminal D.
The terminal will play an important role in securing Thailand investment for the Eastern Economic Corridor, which aims to develop the country’s eastern provinces of Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao into a leading ASEAN economic zone.
Hutchison Ports’ new terminal will also be ready to take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure-building development strategy by China that is strengthening trade routes stretching to Europe.
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Hutchison Ports has also invested in automation at its Hong Kong terminal.
In January 2018, the operator announced that it was the first to implement fully automated stacking at a Hong Kong terminal.
In its announcement, Hutchison Ports reported that it was the first container terminal to transit RTGs to a remote-controlled and automated stacking system while maintaining full operations.