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Construction delays stall Klaipėda port's business plans

„Klaipėdos smeltė”
Ginos Kubiliūtės nuotr. / „Klaipėdos smeltė”
Šaltinis: BNS

With delays in building quays stalling plans to establish a container distribution center in Klaipėda, the stevedoring company Klaipėdos Smeltė worries that Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) will drop its intention to handle ocean-going containers in the Lithuanian port and will go to any other port that will offer suitable conditions, the business daily Verslo Žinios reports on Monday.

The project got delayed after the Lithuanian Public Procurement Office last year suspended the bidding process for a contractor for the construction of quays. It gave the go-ahead for resuming the process in late February.

"If MSC can't carry out its plans, it will lose its leading position in the Baltic Sea. Its competitor, Maersk Line, is working in Gdansk. After we presented the idea in 2009, Maersk Line started putting that idea into practice in 2010. While we are talking, they are acting. This is business. If we can't get ourselves ready, such companies may go to any other port where they are offered good conditions," Klaipėdos Smeltė CEO Rimantas Juška told the paper.

In late January, Klaipėdos Smeltė signed a 10-year cooperation agreement with MSC, giving the shipping company the exceptional right to use the stevedoring company's terminals for its needs.

"This is an impressive agreement, providing for cargo traffic of up to a million TEUs in 2023. Starting today, growth will reach 8 percent annually," Juška said.

Klaipėdos Smeltė has been nursing ambitions to set up a container distribution center at the Klaipėda port since 2008, when Terminal Investment Limited purchased the company. The government later listed it as a priority plan.

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