Port of Antwerp to see massive private investments

Port of Antwerp to see massive private investments

Nov 10, 2016: Port of Antwerp will see massive investments in the next few years.

In order to afford a new future for the vacated site in the Delwaide dock as soon as possible the Port Authority organised a wide-scale, international call for proposals in the early part of the coming year. In response it received proposals both for waterfront and for non-waterfront activities. Extensive negotiations were held with the various candidates with a view to making maximum use of the land available. Finally, the Port Authority board of directors gave its approval for the Sea-Tank Terminal Antwerp and Independent Maritime Terminal.

The SEA-Invest group is planning construction of a new tanker terminal in the Delwaide dock representing an investment of 250 million euros. In the same dock the group will also operate an independent container terminal that it has acquired from Independent Maritime Terminal (IMT). This facility is currently located in the Hansa dock but will be moved to the Delwaide dock where there is space for further development with an additional investment of 50 million euros. Other new activities not directly related to the waterfront will help to reutilise the space released in the Delwaide dock.

Acting through its subsidiary Belgian New Fruit Wharf (BNFW), the SEA-Invest group has already negotiated with various deepsea container lines. The acquisition of IMT by SEA-Invest will enable its other subsidiary SEA-Tank Terminal to build a new liquid bulk facility in the Hansa dock for the latter’s customer Total. However the IMT activities will be moved to the Delwaide dock where more waterfrontage is available to accommodate the future expansion. SEA-Invest therefore acquired the independent container terminal one month ago. IMT, which last year handled 250,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent units), will be able to further expand in the Delwaide dock. The Port Authority for its part recognises the strategic importance of an independent container handler having the opportunity to continue operating in the port of Antwerp and so being able to handle smaller freight volumes. The space vacated by IMT in the Hansa dock will be filled by a new liquid bulk facility.

In the meantime, a location has been found for the Houston-based international terminal operator Zenith Energy. Given the size of the project which this company wishes to carry out in Antwerp, and taking into account also the limited quay length available in the Delwaide dock, an alternative site has been chosen on the Right bank of the Scheldt. Zenith Energy already has a presence in Amsterdam but wished to find a second location in the strategically very important ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) region, and the choice finally fell on Antwerp where the company will ultimately invest 250 million euros. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Zenith Energy is active in storage of liquids and bulk products. It concentrates on acquisition, construction and operation of terminals in Latin America, Europe and Africa.

Antwerp Port Authority is particularly satisfied with the new uses that have been found for existing sites. “Thanks to the huge interest in the port area we have been able to select projects that offer the highest added value for the port area as a whole. The waterfront sites have been reserved for candidates that will generate large freight volumes and so make maximum use of the available maritime infrastructure. As for the non-waterfront sites we have opted for candidates that will help to further develop the chemical and petrochemical cluster,” explained Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO, Port Authority.

In the Hansa dock, meanwhile, the SEA-Invest subsidiary SEA-Tank Terminal will build additional tank capacity for Total on the concession that it acquired from the IMT container terminal, representing an investment of 100 million euros.

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