COSCO takes stake in Rotterdam terminal

Updated: 2016-05-20 08:23

By Zhong Nan(China Daily Europe)

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Firm hopes to cash in on trade from Silk Road Economic Belt

COSCO Pacific Ltd, a subsidiary of China COSCO Shipping Corp, has signed a share sale and purchase agreement to buy 35 percent of Euromax Terminal in Rotterdam from a subsidiary of Hutchison Holdings Ltd.

The deal is 41.43 million euros ($47.34 million) for 35 percent of the share capital of Euromax and paying for assignment on a dollar-for-dollar basis of 35 percent of the shareholder's loan, COSCO Shipping announced on May 12.

 COSCO takes stake in Rotterdam terminal

Containers are unloaded at ECT's newly-built Euromax Container Terminal in the Europort in Rotterdam. Jerry Lampen / Reuters

COSCO Pacific's agreement is with ECT Participations BV, a subsidiary of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd, which is a private holding company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands that manages port assets in 25 countries and regions.

Euromax is principally engaged in the operation of Euromax Terminal Rotterdam, which is located at the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

It is an automatic container terminal that commenced operation in mid-2010. The terminal has an annual handling capacity of 3.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units. Throughput at the terminal totaled 2.28 million TEUs in 2015.

Xu Lirong, chairman of COSCO Shipping, says Rotterdam is situated at the end point in Europe of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the new Asia-Europe economic corridor. Based on medium- to long-term development trends, the Port of Rotterdam will continue to be Europe's main hub.

COSCO takes stake in Rotterdam terminal

The Port of Rotterdam has been the base port of COSCO Shipping in northwestern Europe for more than a decade. It is located at the junction of the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and ocean-going 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. These two trading routes cover about 4.4 billion people in Asia, Europe and Africa.

"COSCO Shipping will continue to deploy ultra-large container vessels to the European route, and the Port of Rotterdam will be the main anchor hub in the region," Xu says.

The company sealed a deal in April to purchase a majority stake in Greece's biggest harbor, Piraeus Port, a move that will give the shipper control over one of the country's key thoroughfares into Europe. "The container terminal investment in the Port of Rotterdam is not only in line with COSCO Shipping's strategy of investing in overseas hubs, but also coordinates with its hub strategy, providing comprehensive terminal services to the shipping fleets of Ocean Alliance," says Dong Liwan, a shipping industry professor at Shanghai Maritime University. COSCO announced in April a partnership with three other companies to form Ocean Alliance.

(China Daily European Weekly 05/20/2016 page30)