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P&O Ports to leave Sète

French media have reported that the DP World affiliate is pulling out of its contract to run the multipurpose/container terminal in the south west France port

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DP World affiliate P&O Ports was awarded a three-year management contract to operate the multipurpose/container terminal in Port de Sète, in the south of France, in June 2017. The agreement included a clause that the contract could be converted into a long-term concession of up to 35 years.


News of a rift has been reported in a south west France online publication, La Lettre, and in Le Journal de la Marine Marchande.


The idea was to establish Sète as a container feeder and shortsea port, in trade with Africa, the Maghreb and the Middle East, but it has not worked out like this and the terminal handles mainly ro-ro ships, bulkers and even cruise ships.


"This is a set-back," said a spokesman for the port’s management agency, EPR Port Sud de France. "It’s a difficult international environment, P&O Ports carried out an internal review and several ports have been left to rot. We signed up with a world player in container handling, but perhaps we chose the wrong partner".


The decision does not affect operations at the reefer terminal, which is operated for the port by Conhexa.

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