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Published: 4 january 2013 09:01

EBRD says its investment will help turn Klaipėda into Baltic transhipment hub

Klaipėdos keleivių ir krovinių terminalas
Aurelijos Kripaitės/15min.lt nuotr. / Klaipėda

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is financing a 65-million-euro international container handling center project in Klaipėda jointly with Lithuania's SEB Bankas, says that this investment will help transform the port into a major regional transshipment hub.

"With this investment, the EBRD will help turn Klaipėda into a Baltic transshipment hub. The improved quality and scope of port services resulting from the project will boost trade in Lithuania and neighboring countries and lead to lower costs for consumers. A modern and efficient container terminal will also help improve the competitiveness of the Lithuanian export industry," Sue Barrett, the EBRD's transport director, said in a press release.

Klaipėdos Smeltė, a Lithuanian stevedoring company that is controlled by Mediterranean Shipping Company, last month signed loan agreements, worth 32.5 million euros each, with the EBRD and SEB Bankas.

Klaipėdos Smeltė CEO Rimantas Juška said in the same press release that the development of the company's terminal as a regional hub would create around 200 new jobs, thus giving "a significant boost to the whole seaport of Klaipėda."

"Moreover, the favorable geographical location of Klaipėda, combined with excellent rail and road connections to CIS countries, will facilitate the development of new logistical opportunities, like delivery of containers by block trains and adding value at bonded warehouses. Direct calls of deep-sea containerships to Klaipėda will eventually bring the entire setup of logistics services in the region to another level," he said.

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