According to Maritime Executive, MSC will make a significant investment in the port of Le Havre, France, over the next six years to expand the container handling capabilities of two of the port’s terminals with the aim of turning the port into a gateway to northwestern Europe. The expansion effort, which is in line with MSC’s fleet expansion, comes as many of Europe’s northern ports are experiencing record congestion and delays and are struggling to accommodate future growth.
Terminal Investment Limited (TiL), a subsidiary of MSC that owns and operates terminals around the world, announced that it has become the sole owner of both the larger TNMSC, which started a decade ago as a joint venture between MSC and Terminalux de Normandie, as well as the adjacent Terminal Porte Océane (TPO) which had been owned by Ocean Terminal. The change in ownership paves the way for MSC to make an investment of approximately $700 million to expand and modernize the terminals.
The TNMSC terminal, which has been MSC’s gateway to the port, currently has the capacity to handle 1.5 million TEUs annually with 4,600 feet of quay for four berths capable of handling vessels with a capacity of up to 20,000 TEUs. The facility covers approximately 175 acres. Adjacent to it is the smaller TPO terminal which can currently handle two ultra-large container ships and move approximately 550,000 TEUs a year. There is also a third container terminal at Le Havre, operated by DP World, which is not included in the new investment agreement.
Last year, Le Havre handled almost 2.8 million TEUs, which represented an increase of more than 15 percent over 2020. According to port officials, the port is ideally positioned to serve as a main facility in Northern Europe, as well as a location for trans-shipment operations to areas such as Ireland.
“The ambitious modernization plans are the result of a historic agreement between the Dock Workers Union of the Port of Le Havre CGT, TiL and the TPO/TNMSC terminals,” said HAROPA PORT, which manages the French port. Le Havre is Europe’s 10th largest port and with both Rotterdam and Antwerp running out of shipyard capacity and facing delays, the expansion is well-timed to support MSC’s future growth.
MSC has signed long-term agreements with the terminals for container volumes to be handled at the port. TiL said it will prepare for increased volumes by doubling the number of ship-to-shore gantry cranes, bringing them to 20 in total. They plan to order the first nine cranes in the near future. They also plan to install fleet gantries at all six berths.
Yard capacity for the two terminals will also triple. Ship handling capabilities will also be expanded so that the berths can accommodate MSC’s newest class of 24,000 TEU vessels. They also plan to provide electrical ground connections at the berths.
By implementing this initiative, we will be able to grow and densify our capacity to help Le Havre become an even more important access point for the French cargo market and beyond,” said Ammar Kanaan, CEO of TiL. “To harness the full potential of Le Havre as a gateway to Europe, we are counting on the support of the French government for the development of related intermodal rail infrastructure that will further enhance the link between our container terminals and European supply chains” .
The expansion project will be completed by 2028. As part of long-term planning, the port will also investigate the integration of container terminals with rail and barge transportation. The objective is to eliminate the bottlenecks that currently exist on the roads.
Source: Maritime Executive