MSC subsidiary Terminal Investment Limited (TiL), the sole shareholder of the TPO/TNMSC container terminals at Le Havre, has announced a major investment programme that will strengthen the port’s role as a gateway to North-western Europe. This €700 million investment will lead to the creation over the next six years of 900 jobs for dockers and 200 for maintenance workers. It will also prepare the port for the highly efficient processing of the world’s biggest cargo ships, including the new generation of 24,000 TEU vessels.
These modernisation plans to be completed by 2028 are the result of a historic agreement between the dock workers’ union, TiL and the TPO/TNMSC terminals. TiL is MSC’s terminal business and its main shareholders are US Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Singapore Government Sovereign Wealth Fund (GIC).
“By implementing this initiative, we will be able to grow and densify our capacity to help Le Havre become an even more significant access point for the French cargo market, and beyond,” said Ammar Kanaan, CEO of TiL. “In order to realize Le Havre’s full potential as a gateway to Europe, we are counting on the French government’s support for the development of the related intermodal rail infrastructure that will further enhance the link between our container terminals and European supply chains.”
The expansion effort, which is aligned with MSC’s fleet expansion, comes as many of northern Europe’s ports are experiencing record congestion and backlogs and struggling to accommodate future growth.
The TNMSC terminal, which has been MSC’s gateway at the port is currently capable of handling 1.5 million TEU annually with 4,600 feet of dock for four berths able to handle vessels with a capacity of up to 20,000 TEU. The facility covers approximately 175 acres.
The smaller TPO terminal can currently handle two ultra-large containerships and move approximately 550,000 TEU annually. A third container terminal at Le Havre, operated by DP World, is not included in the new investment agreement.
Last year, Le Havre handled nearly 2.8 million TEU which was up more than 15 percent over 2020. According to port officials, the port is ideally positioned to serve as a primary facility in Northern Europe as well as a location for transshipment operations to areas such as Ireland.
MSC has entered into long-term agreements with the terminals for container volumes to be handled at the port. TiL said it will prepare for the increased volumes by doubling the number of ship-to-shore gantry cranes, increasing it to 20 total. They plan to place the order for the first nine cranes in the near future. They also plan to install fleet gantries at all six berths.
Yard capacity for the two terminals will also be tripled. The vessel handling capabilities will be expanded so that the berths can accommodate MSC’s newest class of 24,000 TEU vessels. They also plan to provide shore power connections at the berths.
As part of the long-term planning, the port will investigate the integration of the container terminals with barge and rail transportation with a view to removing bottlenecks on the roads.
(Photo MSC Terminaux de Normandie)