Friday, September 9, 2011

New Container Handling Facility For 2.65 Million TEU per Annum

Development to be Most Advanced in the Region
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN – Yesterday witnessed an official visit to the Muelle Prat development in the Port of Barcelona, a container handling facility which developer Terminal Catalunya (TERCAT) says will be the most advanced semi-automated container terminal in the Mediterranean. The freight terminal will have an annual handling capacity of 2.65 million TEU with the first phase expected to be operational in 2012.

Muelle Prat, with a total area of 100 hectares and a quay length of 1,500 metres will effectively double the potential throughput of containers within the Port of Barcelona and according to President of the Port of Barcelona, Sixte Cambra, will ensure Barcelona’s position as the main logistic hub in the Mediterranean and allow the Spanish port to become the principal gateway to Southern Europe for products from Asia.

Terminal Catalunya (TERCAT)is a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group whose Managing Director of the company’s Central European Division, Clemence Cheng, co hosted the visit of the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Artur Mas, together with TERCAT General Manager Alejandro Kouruklis. Mr Chang commented:

"Although HPH operates fully automated terminals in other locations, Muelle Prat will be the first semi-automated in the HPH Group. It will be powered by the next generation operating system called nGen, a proprietary system developed by HPH. nGen will not only enhance operational efficiency in the terminal but will also increase safety of its workers, a priority for the group. A €280 million financing agreement for this project was signed earlier today which reflects the confidence that financiers have in both TERCAT and Barcelona, despite the current turbulent financial markets.”

Barcelona currently connects to 825 ports worldwide via over 100 regular shipping services. In 2009 the port handled in excess of 1.8 million TEU and 42 million tonnes of cargo turning round over 8,000 vessels.

Photo:- An Artists Impression of the Completed Terminal