Europe Container Terminals, the port of Rotterdam’s largest stevedore, is suing the Dutch port for $1.2 billion in compensation in an escalating dispute over a new container terminal.
ECT alleges it was subjected to stricter conditions in the awarding of a concession to operate the first terminal at the Maasvlakte 2 container complex, which opens 2014, the port authority said. ECT declined to comment.
The subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings wants the port to delay the opening of the terminals and no longer require ECT to help pay for the widening of the Amazonhaven channel, the port authority said.
The port said it would be “impossible” to meet ECT’s demands. “The first would have meant the one-sided breaking of existing contracts with other customers. The second would have meant large-scale adaptations to fairly new infrastructure for one customer, without that customer having to pay anything.
“The Port Authority is not concerned regarding the outcome of this lawsuit. The Port Authority and its legal advisors are convinced that, over the years, they have always operated correctly with respect to ECT,” the Port Authority said.
“The Port Authority is averse to market control. The Port Authority will no and connot protect businesses against market forces.”
APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, and Rotterdam World Gateway Consortium led by Dubai’s DP World, will soon start construction of Massvlakte 2 terminals. The two terminals will have a combined annual capacity of around 8.5 million 20-foot equivalent units.
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