Two ports to be modernised
Taiwan’s Cabinet (Executive Yuan) has approved the modernisation of two port areas, Keelung (northeast Taiwan) and Kaohsiung (southern Taiwan) at an estimated price of NT$10.9 billion (US$363 million).
The modernisation will include provision for a new harbour services building as well as a passenger transportation area designed to help the island tap into the ferry and cruise liner market.
According to a press release on the Executive Yuan website, market research firm Ocean Shipping Consultants suggests that the number of passengers on Asian cruise liners will rise from 1.35 million in 2012 to 2.24 million by 2015.
The press release goes on to say that Taiwan is considering three models for developing the cruise industry:
- “Two-to-three day excursions across the Taiwan Strait, to destinations such as Xiamen, Penghu, Keelung and Kaohsiung.
- Regional cruises: Three-to-five day trips to Shanghai, Tianjin, Hong Kong, Japan or Korea.
- Express cruises between Fuzhou, Pingtan and Xiamen in mainland China and Keelung, Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. The two-to-three hour journeys can serve business travellers and people visiting relatives, or deliver express packages and freshly frozen seafood.”
The press release also outlines the work to be done at the two port areas as follows:
“In the Kaohsiung port area, a 17-story landmark structure (including two floors underground) featuring a towering chimney and silvery boat-shaped façade will be constructed between piers 19 through 21. Complementing Kaohsiung’s beautiful waterfront area, the building will accommodate port operation offices, conference meeting rooms, boarding tunnels, border entry and departure, and other needs. At an estimated cost of NT$4.2 billion (US$140 million), the structure is slated for completion by the end of 2015 and will be sizeable enough to offer berthing for the world’s largest ocean liner, the Allure of the Seas, which can carry up to 5,400 passengers.
As for the Keelung port area, development will be divided into the eastern and western fronts. The western front will see a renewal of the Keelung Train Station with an infusion of a modern port city theme. Construction costing a total of NT$6.2 billion (NT$207 million) will cover a 4.98-hectare area, consisting of a maritime transport center and a high-rise administrative building at west pier 4, as well as a berthing section at west piers 5 and 6 for vessels serving offshore islands and mainland China. The maritime transport center will be completed in 2015 and the administrative building in 2017.
On the eastern front, the construction of a new cruise tourism center at east piers 2 to 4 will be funded by the public and private sectors. The first-phase construction at east piers 3 and 4 is to be completed by 2017, while the remaining phases will be finished by 2019. When the time comes, the Keelung Maritime Plaza will connect the port’s eastern and western fronts to offer a sweeping view of the waterfront.”