APM Terminals has signed an MOU to develop a private river terminal in Bangkok.
The memorandum of understanding is with Sahathai Terminal PLC and food and beverage manufacturer Mitr Phol Sugar to develop a 345,000 TEU capacity greenfield container terminal in Bangkok, Thailand.
Currently around 20% of throughput in Bangkok is handled at private facilities outside the control of the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT). Sahathai Terminal already operates a two berth facility, called Sahathai Terminal (Port) for international traffic and the newer Bangkok Barge Terminal Co Ltd, a joint venture with MOL, for domestic business. Sahathai has a goal to be a total logistics solution provider by 2020 and last year began talks with Mitr Phol Sugar and APM Terminals to develop a new container terminal.
Before an agreement was reached, however, Thailand’s Board of Investment required that a new joint venture company with a registered capital of a minimum 150,000,000 Baht (approximately US$5 million) be registered by November 2018. Sahathai and Mitr Phol then set up Bangkok River Terminal Company (BRT), with Sahathai holding 55% of the shares and Mitr Phol 45%.
Under the agreement in the MoU just announced, APM Terminals will become a 33% stakeholder in BRT. This is contingent on BRT entering into an agreement with Mitr Phol to lease the site for the new terminal for five years from 1 June 2019, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) being completed and the necessary approvals obtained.
There are still hurdles to overcome, but the parties are optimistic. “BRT strongly believes that APM Terminals’ rich experience in leading and setting up world-class terminals globally will be crucial to this project’s success,” said Ms. Sauwakun Karuchit, CEO of Sahathai Terminal.
“We are pleased to partner in the development of the Bangkok River Port Terminal and further look forward to working with Sahathai and Mitr Phol and operating the same. Once developed, we expect the terminal to play a critical role in lifting trade for Thailand. It will not only deliver higher reliability for global customers, but also enable more efficient multi-modal transportation options for Thai shippers, thereby delivering ease of doing business and growing Thailand’s economy.” said Maarten Degryse, Managing Director, APM Terminals Inland Services, Thailand.
“Mitr Phol believes that the agreement signed this month provides a significant shift for Thailand’s container shipping business, which increases by around 6-7% annually,” added Verajet Vongkusolkit, Chief of Executive Officer of Thai Sugar, Energy and New Business Group, Mitr Phol Group.