Release Date: 14 July 2008
Release ID: 1373
Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Ottari of Syria has officially inaugurated the Tartous International Container Terminal (TICT), Syria’s newest international trading gateway nearest to the country’s capital Damascus.
Mr. Ottari was joined by Transport Minister Ya’Rob Bader, Cultures Minister Ryad Nassa Agha, Tartous Governor Waheeb Zein Eddine, and Tartous Port general manager Zaki Najib. Assisting the prime minister in cutting the ceremonial ribbon were Budhadev Majumdar, TICT general manager, and Francis Andrews, who oversees ICTSI’s operations in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
“The inauguration of TICT by Prime Minister Ottari signals a new era in terminal operations in the region. We look forward to the coming months as we have been preparing the terminal for brisk business. We have significantly improved our backroom support with port user friendly procedures as well as rolled out a terminal operating system covering Vessel, Yard, CFS and billing activities,” says Majumdar.
Since taking over the terminal in October 2007, TICT has continuously upgraded its infrastructure, equipment fleet, IT systems and manpower skills as it gears up for cargo influx following increasing congestion in Latakia, the country’s largest container port to date. In the prior months an increasing number of shipping lines have started calling while others have expressed interest in calling at TICT.
Tartous is seen as a more ideal trading gateway, with Damascus only being 260 kms away. On the other hand, neighboring Iraq, a natural hinterland of Tartous, has also recently started opening up to global trade.
TICT is a Syrian subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), which has earmarked USD37 million of capital expenditure over the period of the TICT Agreement, which include terminal development in infrastructure and superstructure, IT systems and human resources development. Prior to takeover, TICT acquired two new mobile harbor cranes, the first specialized container handling cranes in Syria, and other cargo handling equipment for cargo consolidation operations.
“The involvement of private sector in Tartous Port has proven to be a worthwhile process. We congratulate the government of Syria for championing private sector involvement via a global tender process and for the political will to complete the exercise. All of these will contribute to a better economy for Syria,” Majumdar adds.
ICTSI is a leading developer of international ports and terminals with a global port network spanning 11 countries in four continents. Headquartered in the Philippines, ICTSI is on its 20th year of operation, and continues to pursue container terminal opportunities around the world.
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