DP World, Eurogate to raise Limassol, but the start not easy

Eurogate Container Terminal Limassol. Source: Eurogate

On January, 29, the global port and terminal operator DP World took over operations at the port of Limassol (Cyprus) from the Cyprus Port Authority. In late April 2016, following a bailout plan between Cyprus and international creditors, the Government of the Republic awarded DP World a 25-year concession to operate Limassol multipurpose terminal handling break bulk, general and ro-ro cargo, as well as cruise ships. Additionally, P&O Maritime Cyprus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DP World Limited, was awarded a 15-year concession to provide a full range of marine services including tugs and pilotage at the port.

Both concessions were awarded to a joint venture between DP World and G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Public Limited, a logistics and services company, listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, with DP World holding 75% and the management rights in the JV.

The terminal is now renamed “DP World Limassol” and is being transferred from a state managed asset to the new DP World business model. The management team announced an action plan to make the facility more productive and sustainable, with new investment being a priority.

“Our mission is simple, we want to create the future of Cypriot trade and make trade easier, safer and at less cost,” said Charles Meaby, DP World Limassol General Manager.

At the same time, Limassol container terminal’s concession was awarded to a consortium of Eurogate International GmbH (60%), Limassol-based Interorient Navigation Company Ltd (20%) and Luxemburg-registered East Med Holdings S.A. (20%). According to Eurogate, the consortium operated the largest feeder shipping network in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, for 16 years up until 2013. The term of the concession is 25 years plus an option for further 12 years.

Under the name of “Eurogate Container Terminal Limassol”, the facility will be integrated into Eurogate’s network, which now comprises 12 container ports. With an area of 35 hectares, an annual capacity of 500,000 TEU, 4 STS cranes and a berth depth of 16m, the terminal handles mostly local cargo for the island. Eurogate intends to invest in its modernisation, focusing on the improvement of business procedures, the new large-scale equipment and IT system. The operator also plans to expand its quay wall of 620m up to 800m by the end of 2018. The container terminal area will be separated from the multipurpose terminal.

The start of Eurogate’s operation in Limassol has not been easy, of which local media widely reports. Thus, in the first days, truckers experienced big delays, as a queue of some 200 trucks formed at the port’s entrance and the police had to dispatch officers to manage the traffic. On top of that, yesterday morning customs clearance agents started the strike, troubled by Eurogate’s cancellation of the practice of onsite cash payments. Besides, the port users do not agree with the container handling charges set by Eurogate. All this has led to a reconciliation meeting held by the Cyprus Chambers of Commerce and Industry at its premises yesterday, where Eurogate representative met port users and agreed to reconsider some of its charges.

Julia Louppova:
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