German port operator HHLA takes stake in Russian port
HHLA, the Hamburg-based terminal operator, has reached agreement with the Orimi group to acquire a 25.1-percent interest in PetroLesPort, a Russian port located near St. Petersburg, Russia.
In a joint venture, the companies plan to construct a new container terminal on Grebenka Island, off St. Petersburg. Construction of new container berths is scheduled to start in the next few weeks, with the commissioning of the container terminal expected in late 2005.
HHLA said that it signed a letter of intent for the project back in February 2002, and has now concluded a deal with Orimi, which operates the former port.
Existing port facilities of PetroLesPort will be expanded into a container terminal with an annual throughput of “several hundred thousand containers,” HHLA said.
Containerships have been calling at PetroLesPort since 1994. Its two berths handled about 60,000 TEUs in 2002.
A spokesman for HHLA said that the joint venture partners also plan to develop a rail network connecting St. Petersburg with its hinterland. This initiative would be similar to the provision by HHLA, in Germany, of intermodal container trains between Hamburg and its hinterland.
The HHLA/Orimi joint venture follows the conclusion in May of another, competing German/Russian port venture. German terminal operator Eurogate and Moscow-based National Container Co. agreed to develop of a new deep-water container terminal at Ust Luga, located 100 kilometers west of St. Petersburg.