The consortium of MSC and GIP Gruppo Investimenti Portuali formed to take forward the Cattolo Bettolo deep water container terminal project in the eastern part of the Port of Genoa, has melted away
As a result MSC will become the sole operator of the new terminal being built in the Sampierdarena, more or less backing on to the backlands of GIP’s SECH terminal on the Calata Sanità, with an on-dock IY separating them. SECH is currently the biggest container terminal in this part of the port. Under construction for many years by the port authority, the new container terminal is finally scheduled to be in operation by 2022 and requires an investment of €150M for a 33-year concession.
The decision to part company on the project appears to have been entirely consensual and hinges on a fundamental disagreement between the parties on the strategy for managing the future terminal, even though rumours of tension between them were denied earlier this year.
The “disengagement” procedure has been activated by the respective CEOs, Gian-Luigi Aponte and Guido Schenone. The development vehicle is known as Itaterminaux Sàrl, registered in Luxembourg, and the split was MSC 65%, GIP 35%, so in future MSC will control it 100%.
MSC, like all shipping lines controlling container terminals, sees Cattolo Bettolo as a cost centre that is part of an integrated logistics chain, whereas GIP is a pure terminal operator and needs to make a return on investments. The company, which also operates TDT Terminal Darsena Toscana in Livorno, is majority-owned by two investment funds, Infracapital and Infravia, with Schenone holding 5% of the shares.