APM Terminals has taken a 25 percent stake in a project to expand capacity at Ningbo, China’s third-largest container port that involves a $500 million investment by Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk’s port arm.
APM Terminals and its Chinese partner Ningbo Port Group, which has a 75 percent stake in the project, will jointly invest and operate berths 3, 4 and 5, comprising a one-kilometer quay in Ningbo’s Meishan Container Terminal.
The new facility will become operational by Dec. 31, 2014, Netherlands-based APM Terminals said.
The agreement for a 50-year concession at the new terminal was signed during a visit to Denmark by Chinese President Hu Jintao.
“We believe in China and will continue to invest in its development,” APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer said.
“This agreement creates important, new port capacity needed for our customers in one of the fastest growing container markets in the world,” said Henrik Lundgaard Pedersen, CEO of APM Terminals’ Asia-Pacific region.
Ningbo, a major gateway port in Eastern China, is the world’s sixth-largest container hub, with traffic totaling 14.5 million 20-foot equivalent units in 2011. At current growth rates, Ningbo’s capacity utilization will exceed 80 percent by the end of 2012, and the Meishan project represents the future source of capacity, APM Terminals said.
The new berths will have a maximum capacity of 2.8 million TEUs.
Separately, Maersk today signed a loan agreement with the China Development Bank for $500 million to purchase containers.
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