ArcelorMittal Gent, Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen (‘PMV’: Flanders participation company), Euroports and North Sea Port are working together on the realization of the very first covered loading quay in Ghent at North Sea Port: the ‘All Weather Terminal’. An investment of more than 50 million euros.
The new terminal is being built next to the existing general cargo quay of ArcelorMittal Gent at the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal. At first, the terminal will mainly be used to store and ship ArcelorMittal Gent’s finished steel coils. 20% of the storage capacity can also be used for the handling of other materials and (general) cargo.
200 metres of quay wall
‘AWT’’s warehouse has a storage capacity of 60,000 tonnes, will be 240 metres long and 60 metres wide and will be fitted with 2 rails that are linked to the quay bundle. The warehouse will be equipped with 3 entirely automated travelling cranes for the unloading, sorting and loading of material. The covered quay wall will be 200 metres long and the dock will be 25 metres wide. The terminal will rise some 30 metres above the water level. Vessels having a carrying capacity up to 10,000 tons will be able to moor at the new quay. The presorting zone will be equipped with 2 automated travelling cranes. Euroports provides 2 telescopic cranes for the loading and unloading of ships. For Euroports – with 26 terminals of its own in Europe – this is a significant addition and extension of its services to the steel and metal industry.
24/7 loading of steel
Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO of ArcelorMittal Belgium: “Before, the loading of steel could only be done in dry weather, whereas now it can happen 24/7, irrespective of the weather conditions. The ‘AWT’ makes it possible to better spread the supply of coils from the dispatch halls at ArcelorMittal Gent to the quay and as such optimize the internal logistical operation. Euroports has experience in the handling of steel and has been cooperating for years already with ArcelorMittal. The use of the ‘AWT’, in combination with the existing ‘open’ general cargo quay, moreover, is necessary for the realization of the growth of the Ghent steel company. The ‘AWT’ is also an investment in sustainability, because the bigger dispatch capacity per ship saves on a considerable number of truck transports (up to 25,000 trucks per year). In doing so, ArcelorMittal Gent wants to grow into a leader in the field of sustainable logistics.”
“The very first ‘AWT’ makes it possible to group the different cargo flows in an even more efficient way, owing to which the companies are getting more logistical opportunities”, says Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port. “North Sea Port wants to play a facilitating role in the field of infrastructure in order to make the port as accessible as possible: via rail, road and inland and seagoing navigation. By investing together with different partners in the ‘All Weather Terminal’, North Sea Port helps the companies grow in a sustainable way.”
Ready by mid-2020
The new ‘All Weather Terminal’ will be owned by AWT GENT NV that was founded by PMV and EPICo. AWT GENT will take care of the design, construction, financing, maintenance and operation of the terminal. AWT GENT NV entrusts Euroports as a logistical maritime player with the operational execution of the flows from, to and inside the AWT.
North Sea Port conceded the land for the construction of the terminal to AWT GENT NV and will also dredge the berths. Stadsbader, a contractor for infrastructure works and big industrial projects, will take care of the construction and maintenance of the terminal. PMV is an investment fund set up by the Flemish government with the intention of investing in infrastructure for sustainable economic development.
The signing of the contract took place in the middle of June, the environmental permit is now being prepared and was applied for with the intention to start the construction by the end of 2018. It is expected that the ‘All Weather Terminal’ will be operational by mid-2020.