“An agreement on a 32.5 million euros in loan, which is taken out by Klaipėdos Smeltė, was signed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development early in December,” Eduardas Galuškinas, marketing director at Klaipėdos Smeltė, said at a news conference in Klaipėda on Thursday.
The EBRD said in November that it was considering a possibility to invest in this project in the port of Klaipėda. Klaipėdos Smeltė CEO Rimantas Juška then told BNS that the EBRD would loan 50 percent of the money required for the project and SEB Bankas should provide the remaining 50 percent.
“Armed with 65 million euros in loans, we will launch a very intensive investment program and we believe that the year 2013 will be a breakthrough year for Klaipėdos Smeltė. We have already spoken with the shareholders and certain agreements have been signed already. We should see the cargo of new quality from the middle of the year, which would be the cargo designated for Russia, containers in the port of Klaipėda. It only remains to deal with certain infrastructure issues, such as to manage the construction and deepening of quays,” Galuškinas said.
Until now, Klaipėdos Smeltė has funded the works with its own money. It has started building a transformer house and power lines, is relocating boiler houses and is drawing up draft specifications for bidding processes to be launched in the future.
Mediterranean Shipping Company, which announced plans to establish a regional container distribution center in Klaipėda, said that it would divert high-capacity container carriers to the Lithuanian port.
Klaipėdos Smeltė last year posted a net profit of 15.386 million litas (EUR 4.46m), a rise of 60 percent from 9.369 million litas in 2010. Revenues grew by 22 percent to 76.13 million litas. TEU handling increased by 37.7 percent to 158,500 units.