Massive private investments in port of Antwerp

By Finance

Massive investments in the port of Antwerp are coming in the next few years. 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.

International terminal operator based in Houston invests €250 million

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.

Massive private investments in port of Antwerp

Delwaidedok (image former MPET terminal) - Photo: Belga

Port Authority satisfied with high added value

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 Port Authority CEO Eddy Bruyninckx.

€100 million investment SEA-Tank Terminal

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.

Delwaide dock

In 2013 the MSC shipping company announced that it wished to further develop its presence in Antwerp. However its home terminal in the Delwaide dock had already reached full capacity and so expansion there was not possible. Partly due to the increasing size of ships, which makes it more difficult to pass through the locks on the Right bank, the choice fell on the Deurganck dock on the Left bank. In mid-2014 the Port Authority board of directors gave the go-ahead for the move, which was completed by the end of that year.

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, on Monday evening this week, the Port Authority board of directors gave its approval for the following projects.

Sea-Tank Terminal Antwerp constructs dedicated tank terminal for a major world player

Sea-Tank Terminal is building the tank terminal on behalf of a major world player that aims to use the port of Antwerp as a base for import, export and transit of all its petroleum products in the ARA range. The planned capacity of the project in the first phase is 750,000 m³ for storage of refined products that will be carried to and from the terminal by barge and seagoing ship. The freight volume generated by this activity is estimated at 13 million tonnes annually. Additional capacity may be built in a second phase of the project.

  • Area of site: approx. 465,342 m²;
  • Quay length: 1250 meter;
  • Investment: €250 million;
  • Additional jobs created: 50 FTE (full-time equivalents) together with temporary employment of 500 people during the two-year construction phase.

Independent Maritime Terminal: move from the Hansa dock to the Delwaide dock, with a view to expanding its container handling activities

Independent Maritime Terminal (IMT) has reached the physical limits at its current location in the Hansa dock (quay 242 – 252) so no further expansion is possible there. Nevertheless expansion is necessary in order to attract additional freight flows and to create a new hub for reefer containers carrying perishables.

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, 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.

  • Area of site: approx. 549,725 m² (current area in Hansa dock: 167,000 m²);
  • Quay length: 950 m (current length in Hansa dock: 685 m);
  • Investment: €50 million;
  • Employment: currently 100 members of personnel.

Location for Zenith Energy

Among the proposals submitted for the Delwaide dock was a project put forward by the international terminal operator Zenith Energy. As plans for repurposing the Delwaide dock progressed and the possibilities emerged for converting activities in another part of the port, the Port Authority found another location for Zenith.

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. The company carries out storage and distribution of petroleum, refinery products, natural gas liquids and petrochemical products. To supplement its terminal in Amsterdam, Zenith is anxious to have a second terminal in the ARA region. Once the concession has been granted Zenith will be able to build 500,000 m³ of storage capacity in the first phase, after which it wishes to expand rapidly to 1,000,000 m³.

  • Area of site: approx. 307,000 m²;
  • Quay length: 1250 meter;
  • Investment: €250 million.

Hansa dock

In addition to investments in the Delwaide dock SEA-Invest is also investing in the Hansa dock where it has acquired the container terminal from IMT. On this concession site it will initially build additional tank capacity of 160,000 m³ for Total, with further potential for expansion. The additional capacity will act as an extension of the neighbouring SEA-Tank Terminal facility. The existing terminal became operational in 2010 and was expanded by 340,000 m³ in 2013. It currently has a capacity of 860,000 m³.

  • Area of site: 170,000 m²;
  • First-phase investment: €100 million.

Source: Port of Antwerp