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Published: 15 July 2017
Short sea lo-lo for Vlissingen?
Zeeland Seaports (ZSP) and Rotterdam-based Kramer Group have signed a letter of intent for the possible establishment of a shortsea container terminal in Vlissingen (Flushing)
Kramer has a three month option, starting at the beginning of July, to state whether it wishes to proceed with the project. “Our commercial staff are very busy sounding out interest from shortsea lo-lo operators, and we ourselves feel that the project is viable,” said group president André Kramer.
"We have no potential launching customer yet, but then again we’ve only just started to explore the market. We have another two and a half months to get a business plan together."
At stake is a 30-hectare site with 400m of quay that could eventually be extended to 1,000m. ZSP would invest around €40M to construct the quaywall. Located at the Van Cittershaven in Flushing, the terminal would offer short sea operators an excellent nautical edge, equal to that of Zeebrugge or the Rotterdam Maasvlakte. If developed, the terminal would also get an empties depot – Kramer’s Rotterdam roots – and possibly reefer facilities. Kloosterboer already operates vast temperature-controlled warehouses in the same port area.
The two companies will closely work together at Kramer’s reefer terminal and depot which is to be built in Rotterdam Coolport, next to Kloosterboer’s recently opened temperature controlled warehouse, all on the former ECT City Terminal site.
“But without a shortsea operator there will be no terminal of any kind,” said André Kramer of his plans for Flushing, where inland shipping would play an important role for feedering intra-European door-to-door moves.
A significant snag, however, is the fact that the container terminal would be built at the 57-hectare premises of the former Thermphos phosphorous plant. As previously reported, the ground here is heavily polluted and estimates to clean it up vary between €135M and €175M.
There is a dispute between ZSP and the government of the Dutch province of Zeeland, one of its shareholders, on who will pay for the clean-up, and the former Dutch national labour party leader Diederik Samsom has been called in to mediate. As previously reported the issue is holding up the planned merger of ZSP and Belgium's Port of Ghent.