Singapore has recently invested more than 2.6 billion USD in an expansion project for the country’s Pasir Panjang Terminal, reported the Straits Times on June 24.

Delivering a speech while opening project phase III and IV on June 23, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the importance of seaport capacity building in improving connectivity with major ports worldwide and maintaining Singapore’s position as a leading transportation centre regionally and internationally.

Statistics showed that the handling capacity of the nation’s seaport system hit 33.9 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) last year, nearly reaching its maximum capacity of 35 million TEUs.

The project, involving the Pasir Panjang Terminal and two future terminals that are scheduled to become operational by 2017, is expected to boost the island nation’s annual container throughput by 40 percent to 50 million TEUs.

By 2040, the country targets to increase its yearly handling capacity to 65 million TEUs.

The local maritime industry currently has a workforce of 170,000 people and accounts for 7 percent of Singapore’s GDP.-VNA