The Port of Kaohsiung, located on the South China Sea, is the largest Taiwanese port and plays an important role in Taiwan’s export-oriented economy. To remain competitive and maintain its trade advantage, expansion of the port was a clear necessity. Containership traffic is about 150 vessels per day, which results in more than 10 million containers being transshipped annually. In 2015, Van Oord was contracted by Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC), to handle this expansion. This was the first time Van Oord had been engaged as a main contractor in Taiwan.
The project involved the dredging and reclamation of 37 million cubic meters (48.4 million cubic yards) of sand. After less than two years, in early December 2017, Van Oord was able to create 250 hectares (617 acres) of new land for the Kaohsiung Intercontinental Container Center Phase II. By utilizing some of its largest trailing suction hopper dredges, the Vox Máxima, Volvox Terranova, and Rotterdam, the job was completed eight months ahead of schedule. The new land will accommodate many terminals and wharves, some of which will be able to handle container vessels of up to 22,000 TEU. The port’s focus is to develop facilities and businesses that continue to increase the freight it can handle.
The port is also expanding its facilities to accommodate cruise ship and passenger services. These efforts by the Taiwan International Ports Corporation have resulted in growth for the port’s cruise business. An estimated 127,000 cruise passengers are expected to visit the Port of Kaohsiung in 2018. Star Cruises’ Virgo has inaugurated a “three home port” cruise itinerary this year, traveling between its three regional home ports of Kaohsiung, Hong Kong and Manila. Additionally, Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess has inaugurated five new home port routes. In 2017, more than 530,000 passengers traveled on the Budai-Penghu route during the tourist season, a 5.4 percent increase over the same period the previous year, a new, historic high. The ferry pier is also being extended so that it will be able to berth two ferries of more than 500 metric ton simultaneously, giving Budai Port sufficient wharf space to concurrently berth up to nine ferries.