When the development of Jurong Industrial Town commenced in 1961, the government proposed a new industrial port for the bulk handling of cargo in order to serve the various industries located there. Survey works for the port started in January 1961. Jurong had a natural deep-water harbour that was suitable for the development of a port, and this was the decisive factor in the government’s selection of Jurong as the site for Singapore's industrial sector. The port project came under the purview of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and was developed within a three-year plan from March 1963 to November 1965. On 9 March 1963, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew launched the development work for the S$14-million Jurong Wharf that would allow the largest ocean-going vessels to berth there, with the exception of supertankers and bulk ore carriers. The contractors selected for the construction works were three American companies: Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Company, J. H. Pomeroy & Co. and Ben C. Gerwick, which worked with their local associate, Wang Coo-Kien & Co.
Jurong Wharf, with its five deep-water berths, was completed in mid-1966, although it had already started to receive ships as early as January that year. Its first customer was the 10,000-ton President van Buren, which had arrived from Saigon with 1,300 tons of timber on 6 January. From March 1966, Jurong Wharf was connected to Bukit Timah by the opening of the Malayan Railway branch line to the Jurong industrial estate. In January 1967, work had already begun to convert Jurong harbour into a full industrial port that could accommodate bulk handling equipment. In 1969, with the rapid increase in traffic at the Jurong Port, the government began drawing up new expansion plans for the port.
1. Launch surveys site for new industrial port here. (1961, January 14). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Ho, D. K. H. (1996). The seaport economy: A study of the Singapore experience (pp. 34–35). Singapore: Singapore University Press. Call no.: RSING 387.1095957 HO; Go-ahead for the $14m. harbour. (1963, March 10). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. The 'difficult to duplicate' development of Jurong. (1963, March 11). The Straits Times, p. 5; Jurong harbour directly linked to the world shipping lanes. (1963, March 10). The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Ho, 1996, p. 34.
4. Go-ahead for the $14m. harbour. (1963, March 10). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Page 7 advertisements column 1. (1963, March 10). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. First phase of Jurong wharf nears completion. (1966, April 30). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1970, September 2). Jurong Town Corporation (Amendment) Bill (Vol. 30, col. 186). Retrieved August 13, 2013, from Parliament of Singapore website: http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00054405-ZZ¤tPubID=00069229-ZZ&topicKey=00069229-ZZ.00054405-ZZ_1%2Bid021_19700902_S0003_T00071-bill%2B; Ministry of Culture. (1975, March 15). Speech by Mr Hon Sui Sen, Minister for Finance, at the ground breaking ceremony of the Jurong Port expansion project, on 15 March 1975 at 10.00 am at the Jurong Port, Jurong Town (p. 2). Retrieved November 30, 2013, from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/
7. Jurong wharf's first caller. (1966, January 7). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. New Jurong Railway carries its first loads. (1965, November 16). The Straits Times, p. 8; Railway line forges another link. (1966, March 5). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Industrial depot project. (1967, January 4). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Ministry of Culture, 15 Mar 1975, p. 1.
The information in this article is valid as at 2013 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.