New Muara Container Terminal Services Sdn. Bhd. (NMCTS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Philippine-based port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), recently celebrated its first anniversary of operating and maintaining the Muara Container Terminal (MCT) in Brunei Darussalam.

“The smooth handover and transition of the MCT to NMCTS would have not been possible without the tireless efforts of the management and staff of the Brunei Ports Department under the stewardship of Ang Kian Guan, Ports Department Director,” says Jose Manuel M. de Jesus, ICTSI vice president for business development and NMCTS managing director.

“ICTSI’s entry into Brunei is not only a model of a successful public-private sector partnership but also a testimony to the cooperation between two peoples, Bruneians and Filipinos working together towards a common objective,” he added.

In May 2009, ICTSI took over the operation of the MCT in the Port of Muara, Brunei Darussalam’s main port, after signing agreements with the Government of His Majesty, The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, as represented by the Brunei Ports Department of the Ministry of Communications for the operation and maintenance of the MCT for four years. The agreement may be extended for one year at a time for a maximum of two years. ICTSI established a wholly owned subsidiary, NMCTS, to operate the terminal.

“We are glad to be Brunei’s private sector partner of choice, and are committed to making the MCT a key port in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area,” says Rico T. Cruz, NMCTS general manager.

In 2009, the MCT handled 85,577 TEUs, 53,013 TEUs of which were handled by NMCTS from June to December. Furthermore, MCT posted a seven percent increase during the first quarter of this year over the same period last year, from 18,878 TEUs in 2009 to 20,108.75 TEUs in 2010.

With an annual capacity of 220,000 TEUs, the MCT has a terminal area of five hectares, a 12-meter controlling depth, 250-meter berth equipped with two quay cranes, a 72,500-square meter container yard with a reefer of facility of 145 reefer points, a 5,000-square meter container freight station, and a four-lane gate and gatehouse.

The terminal is located at the estuary of the Brunei River, which is about 20 kilometers form the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.

The anniversary celebration was held at the Emperor’s Court at Hua Ho Manggis Mall in Jalan Muara, and was attended by government officials, representatives from shipping line clients and port users, and ICTSI and NMCTS officers.