Hub with a future
On 30 March Tanger Med and APM Terminals signed an important contract which awarded the concession to run a new terminal in Tanger Med II to APMT. The centre will be Africa’s first automated terminal.
Tanger Med president Fouad Brini and APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer recently signed a deal that sees the box terminal operator APM Terminals put in charge of the concession to run a new facility in the Tanger Med II project. Initially the deal is set to last 30 years, and there is an option to extend it.
Operations set to start in 2019
The international concessionaire is expected to invest no less than approximately EUR 758 million in the new facility, including superstructure and terminal equipment at the quays. The later will be provided by the Tanger Med Special Agency (TMSA), which is in charge of setting up the port. Operations are due to start in 2019, with the terminal designed to handle 4.2 million teu initially.
The facility will operate under the name of Container Terminal 4 (TC4), and will include 1,600 m of quays as well as a 76 ha container-handling platform. The above-mentioned option to extend the concession also includes the possibility of adding another 400 m of quays and another 18 ha of box areas. These subsequent investments would be worth another EUR 140 million and generate additional traffic of approximately 1 million teu annually.
Aiming for 5.2 million teu annually
Once all works have been completed the centre will sport 2,000 m of quays and cover no less than 94 ha. Word from Tangier has it that total investments will amount to around EUR 900 million, and the centre’s final annual throughput come to 5.2 million teu. Overall, Tanger Med II will have more than 4,600 m of breakwaters as well as a total of 2,800 m of quays.
APM Terminals, a leading global container terminal operator, expects to make use of the new terminal in Tanger Med II primarily for its sister enterprise Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company, as well as its alliance partners. Both entities are a part of the Danish A.P. Moller-Maersk corporation.
The first construction phase, which was completed in 2015, saw the basic infrastructure required put in place. This included the building of the breakwaters, carrying out the necessary dredging work, and setting up the first 1,200 m of quays. Work on phase II of the undertaking, which is set to include more new quays, will be launched in the course of this year.
TC3 for additional clients
The Marsa Maroc concession to run Container Terminal 3 (TC3), which includes 800 m of quays as well as 32 ha of container platforms, has already been confirmed. The corresponding investment plan there includes EUR 260 million of private investment, with traffic projected to come to around 1.3 million teu. This common-user facility will serve the needs of a broad range of international liner shipping enterprises.
The partners in the new contract said at the signing that the granting of the TC4 concession completes the allocation of box-handling capacities at Tanger Med II. The new configuration, they added, consolidates Morocco’s strong position on the Strait of Gibraltar and on Africa’s northwestern coastline, and «further paves the way for Tanger Med, which will then have a total container handling capacity of more than 9 million teu, to enter the ranks of the world’s top twenty gateways.» The figures currently make Tanger Med Africa’s second-largest hub, after Port Said (Egypt).
Strong regional growth
Today Tanger Med is an integrated hub covering a port complex of approximately 1,000 ha. This includes a ro-ro / passenger facility; the Tanger Med II gateway; an industrial platform with economic zones covering approximately 1,200 ha; and of course the port of Tanger Med I, where APMT is also active and where the corporation handled 1.7 million teu in 2015.
This latest development, with APM Terminals further developing its network through the concession that it has been awarded in Tanger Med II, will also create many new jobs in the region, and simultaneously also help the port maintain its ability to compete as a key gateway for trade between Africa and Europe. The latest results of the port of Algeciras, where APM Terminals also operates, have also been released recently, and that gateway has also developed positively in the past few years (see ITJ 13-14 / 2016, Iberia & Latin America Special, page 15). The good neighbourly relationships that prevail between the Moroccan port of Tanger Med and the Algeciras gateway, its Spanish counterpart just across the Strait of Gibraltar, enhance activities and augur well for the future.
For the environment too
The port of Tanger Med has been awarded the EcoPorts label by the European Sea Ports Organisation (Espo). This recognition is reserved for gateways that respect standards that pay particular attention to the protection of the environment. Tanger Med thus became the first port in Africa to be awarded this label and join the EcoPorts network.
Espo was founded by the European Commission in 1993, with the aim of analysing problems arising in the continent’s ports. The organisation has launched some important initiatives, including those that resulted in the realisation of an environmental code of practice and of the EcoPorts network.
Tanger Med has already been certified in accordance with the environmental management standard ISO14001, which is witness to the fact that the port is ready to further develop is tools in this field and continue to adhere to international standards.