Dubai World's financial problems will not affect the construction timetable of Europe's biggest container terminal in which its subsidiary DP World is the largest investor, the port of Rotterdam said Dec. 4.
DP World has a 30 percent stake in the Rotterdam World Gateway consortium that is building a box terminal with a capacity of 4 million containers a year on Maasvlakte 2, a large tract of land reclaimed from the North Sea.
"In so far as this can be determined, the financial problems that Dubai World made the news with last week will not have any impact on the Maasvlakte 2 development," the port authority said in a statement.
CMA CGM, the financially troubled French ocean carrier that is negotiating with banks and shipyards to restructure its $5.6 billion in debt, is also a member of the consortium.
The other shareholders are Japanese ocean carrier Mitsui OSK Line, South Korea's Hyundai and Singapore-based APL.
The port authority said it has been told by the Rotterdam World Gateway consortium that the $1.35 billion terminal will open on schedule in 2013.
DP World is not involved in Dubai World's recent request for a six month standstill on servicing $26 billion of debt. The world's fourth largest terminal operator remains profitable despite the slump in global container shipping.
But the fate of the company's planned 3.5 million TEUs-a-year terminal near London is mired in uncertainty after the local authority said the project is not viable without public funding. DP World put the $2.5 billion project "under review" in March.
The port authority said APM Terminals' 4.5 million TEUs-a-year facility on the Maasvlakte 2 will begin operations as planned in 2014.
There is no scheduled completion date, however, for the expansion of the 2.5 million TEUs Euromax terminal, a joint venture between Asia's CKYH shipping alliance -- China's Cosco, K-Line of Japan, Taiwan's Yang Ming and Hanjin of South Korea -- and ECT, the Rotterdam terminal owned by Hong Kong's Hutchison Ports.
ECT has warned Rotterdam faces an "enormous" glut of capacity when the Rotterdam World Gateway terminal opens in 2013.
Europe's biggest container port will have excess capacity of between one million and 1.5 million TEUs in 2010 because of the decline in box shipments, ECT president Jan Westerhoud said in the summer.
Rotterdam's container traffic fell 13 percent in the first nine months of 2009 from a year ago to 7.2 million TEUs.
The port which handled a record 10.8 million TEUs in 2008 had previously forecast traffic would hit 12 million TEUs in 2009.
Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.