Belgium: MSC Step Closer to Deurganck Dock Expansion

The Antwerp Port Authority board of directors yesterday evening estimated the tender results related to the development works in the Deurganck dock.

The invitation was issued in the interests of equal treatment, in response to an official request by the Swiss shipping company MSC to be allowed to expand further in the port of Antwerp.

MSC had announced in 2013 that in order to accommodate future growth in the port of Antwerp it wished to move its operations to the Deurganck dock as it had already reached its limits in the Delwaide dock, not only in terms of terminal capacity (last year it handled 4.6 million TEU there) but also in terms of the size of ships. When MSC introduces vessels of 16,000 and 18,000 TEU in the near future it will be impossible for these to be handled behind the Berendrecht lock. Nevertheless, MSC and the other P3 partners still wish to position the port of Antwerp as a major hub.

At the beginning of December invitations for expressions of interest were issued in order to determine whether there were any other opportunities of similar importance that would require space to be reserved in the Deurganck dock, or that might clash with the project proposed by MSC and its partners. Based on the results of the enquiry, it now appears that no alternatives of similar importance are proposed.

The Port Authority board of directors has therefore granted authority to the management committee – with power of subdelegation – to carry out further discussions with the stakeholders concerned, in order to consider the way in which the proposed MSC project can be carried out in the port of Antwerp and in the Deurganck dock in particular.

Press Release, February 11, 2014

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