ASIAN TERMINALS, Inc. (ATI) is increasing its capital expenditure (capex) to around $300 million this year to fund its port development plans at the Manila South Harbor and Batangas Port.
Asked about the listed firm’s capex for 2019, ATI Senior Vice-President for Commercial and Outports Sean James L. Perez told reporters on Friday: “Something like $300 million… (To be used) for expansion, port development. We’re expanding both the South Harbor here in Manila and we’re also expanding in Batangas.”
Last year, ATI set its capex at P8 billion, or approximately $152 million, which also went to capacity expansion projects in its ports in Manila and Batangas.
Mr. Perez explained the higher investment is necessary this year given the company’s target of increasing ATI’s total volume by around 5%.
“The two ports now will be really expanding all our facilities. And that’s also including equipment. We just brought in two new quay cranes in Batangas for rubber-tired gantries. We brought in some cranes for South Harbor,” he said.
In January, ATI added two new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and four rubber-tired gantry cranes to increase the capacity at the Batangas Port. In February, it also joined international shipping lines in an agreement to share vessels and terminal resources to improve operations at the Manila South Harbor.
Mr. Perez said the company expects an improved financial performance this year.
“Now is an election year. You have importations now that are coming in. (The) Build, Build, Build program of the government (is there). All of these have been fueling consumer spending. So we see that we’ll grow hand-in-hand with all those developments,” he said.
ATI is scheduled to open by the second quarter a five-hectare container yard facility outside the Port of Manila. It is also on track to finish by end-April the expansion works at the Batangas Container Terminal, which will increase its annual capacity to 450,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs).
The listed port operator posted an attributable net income of P2.2 billion in the nine months ending September, up 24% on higher revenues at P7.2 billion. — Denise A. Valdez with report from Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio