Monday, January 4, 2021

Port News Around the World This Week Includes Record TEU numbers and Dry Bulk Expansion

New Year Also Welcomes Decarbonisation Initiative
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – SPAIN – CROATIA – A busy start to 2021 apparently for some European ports, leading off with the news of the development of a major dry bulk terminal at the Port of Le Havre.

HAROPA - Port of Le Havre is a call for many of the world’s largest container vessels and is the 5th largest North-European port for box trade whilst also handling around 40% of the country’s crude oil import traffic. The site involved in the new venture is located on the southern bank of Le Havre’s Grand Canal, and the multi-bulk terminal has been free of occupants since May 2019.

The 20-year concession granted to Brittany based Lorany relates to twin goals set by the Port for additional value to be gleaned from port real estate and industry, namely the development and expansion of clinker traffic, plus investigating and providing competitive solutions for other types of dry bulk, including grain, ore, construction materials, earth and sediment.

The industrial resource is to be developed on a potential area of 14 hectares and the Le Havre authorities say it will be able to resume activity as early as summer 2021. It is designed to process over 400,000 tonnes of goods from the first year of operation and to exceed a million tonnes of maritime and river traffic by its tenth year.

A facility for the reception and recycling of earth and sediment is also planned, eventually leading to annual maritime and river traffic of 270,000 tonnes. A project for slag imports is also currently under way, as is the creation of a concrete production plant based exclusively on recycled materials. Baptiste Maurand, Le Havre Port’s CEO observed:

“The resumption of multi-bulk operations is the outcome of shared, coordinated effort alongside the various port complexes along the Seine Axis. Our coordinated approach with the ports of Rouen and Paris is in fact aimed at the joint construction of an axis strategy based around dry bulk, covering not only activities now being developed in the port but also the potential represented by an industrial resource of this kind.”

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Spain, the Port of Valencia has joined the World Ports Climate Action Program (WPCAP), an initiative to encourage joint work in actions against climate change in collaboration with the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH). This programme was created with the main objective of reducing CO2 emissions and improving air quality. The President of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), Aurelio Martinez, explained thus:

”We have adhered to this programme in which the biggest ports participate and which are the mirror in which the rest of the world port system is seen, as their activity has a subsequent impact on the rest of the port scale. It is an action in which [eleven other] leading ports of the world are participating, and which they have invited us to take part in as a recognition of our management in sustainability in recent years, to launch a joint climate action programme.

”It is an honour that the IAPH has integrated us into this initiative because it values the work that we have been carrying out for many years in the APV together with the port community to execute environmental actions that contribute to improving the quality of life of our surroundings and the agents that participate in port activity".

Last July the IAPH recognised two projects in environmental matters that are being led by the Port Authority of Valencia, the ‘Green C Ports’ and ‘Loop Ports’. Both initiatives were awarded in the World Port Sustainability Awards for their initiatives to find innovative solutions to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, reduce noise levels, forecast crane productivity and measure emissions in real time in the ports.

The WPCAP is an initiative that stems from the IAPH sustainability programme to promote and coordinate the efforts of ports with the improvement of the environment by encouraging cooperation between all the actors in the logistics chain. The Port of Valencia will be part of this select group together with those of Antwerp, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Le Havre, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Rotterdam, Vancouver and Yokohama. The ports which are included in the initiative have created a programme of climate measures centred on five axes:

  • Increasing the efficiency of logistics chains through the development and harmonisation of digital tools
  • Promoting the common approach of public policies on the reduction of emissions within large geographical areas
  • Accelerating the development of renewable energies for ships or other ‘zero emission’ alternatives in the docks
  • Accelerating the development of alternative fuels for ships, whose emissions are at least 50% lower than those generated by current fuels
  • Defending the decarbonisation of port terminals

To implement these measures the ports involved in the WPCAP are working alongside the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and representatives of the sector, governments, regulators and other agents to develop strategies to advance the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

For one company at least it seems that the pandemic has had little effect on the performance at the Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT) in Rijeka, a facility owned by Philippine group International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI). On 23 December AGCT reached a significant milestone, surpassing 300,000 TEUs, setting a new record annual terminal volume.

Following a 20% growth in 2019, AGCT grew a further 12% in 2020 year to date, driven by a 30% increase in rail volumes. With the successful development of the new intermodal yard including the commissioning of two rail mounted gantries (RMGs) and a new shunting tunnel, the terminal has significantly increased rail capacity, prompting Emmanuel Papagiannakis, AGCT CEO to comment:

“Whilst we traditionally mainly focused on the local market with select services to neighbouring countries, a reliable intermodal product led to new rail services to Central Europe and East Europe, which increased options for shippers, leading to higher volumes. With 70% of volume now coming from outside the Croatian market and from East and Central Europe, AGCT will continue developing the port and intermodal offering.

“We would like to thank all our customers and rail partners for their support, our employees for their dedication and other stakeholders for their contribution that brought about this proud moment for AGCT and Rijeka.”

Photo: The Southern bank of the Grand Canal at Le Havre will see activity once more at the multi bulk terminal.