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Published: 3 january 2013 13:57

Klaipėdos Smeltė secures 32.5-million-euro loan from SEB Bankas

„Klaipėdos smeltė”
Ginos Kubiliūtės nuotr. / „Klaipėdos smeltė”
Klaipėdos Smeltė, Lithuania’s stevedoring company controlled by international shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company, has signed a 32.5-million-euro loan agreement with SEB Bankas, Lithuania’s biggest commercial bank, which will contribute to the financing of a 65-million-euro project on the creation of an international container distribution center in the Lithuanian port of Klaipėda.

“The 32.5-million-euro loan agreement was signed for a ten-year period. Other details of the deal will not be disclosed for the meantime,” Eduardas Galuškinas, marketing director at Klaipėdos Smelte, told BNS.

“Such a cargo distribution center has no analogues in Latvia or Estonia, therefore this project provides a significant competitive advantage to Lithuania and the port of Klaipėda through the expansion of shipping sector’s activities and an increase in cargo transit via the port. Moreover, many new jobs will be created,” Aivaras Čičelis, SEB Bankas’ vice-president and head of corporate banking, said in the bank’s press release.

The agreement was signed on 31 December, Galuškinas said.

“Now we will move ahead at full speed. The construction of all quays is progressing gradually and we hope that they will be completed in late spring... We expect a new cargo – containers with cargo designated for Russia – to show up in the port in the middle of the year,” he said adding that the first ocean-going container ships could probably be handled from the end of June.

Early in December, Klaipėdos Smeltė signed a 32.5-million-euro loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which will finance the project together with SEB Bankas in equal parts.

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 in 2011 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.

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