Dubai-based P&O Ports, a leading shipping and ports services provider, has won a three-year management contract to operate the container terminal in the Port de Sète in the south of France under an agreement which can also be converted to a long-term concession in the future.
Port de Sete is a deep draft port, handling frozen, chilled, general and breakbulk cargo, containers, roll-on/roll-off (Roro) services and livestock alongside cruise and ferry terminals, a marina, cement handling facilities and an agro-industrial complex, said a statement from P&O Ports.
The contract will see P&O Ports operating a container yard with a draft of up to 14.5m with 457 m of quay and adjacent to two hectares land. The container terminal is expected to start operations in October, it stated.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the chairman of Ports Customs and Freezones Corporation (PCFC) in Dubai, said: "Port De Sète has great potential and is ready to become another gateway port for France. In the early stages it will continue to primarily cater for feeder services in the eastern Mediterranean, the Maghreb region and North Africa."
"Once development takes place with the backing of our regional partners we expect to see more multinational shippers use its services with other international destinations added over time," noted Bin Sulayem.
Jean Claude Gayssot, the président of the Port de Sète, said: "We are pleased to be working with P&O Ports, who is independent and a source of great opportunity with a well-know brand having a worldwide reputation in the shipping sector whose global operations, with DP World network make them an attractive and reliable partner."
Located in the heart of the Occitanie region, Port de Sète has the capacity to process all types of vessels with additional hectares of land to be developed for the container activity, an ideal entry point to the Region Auvergne-Rhône with direct inland waterway communications and well positioned to serve nearby large centres of population including Toulouse, Montpellier and Clermont-Ferrand, it stated.
It forms part of the network of feeder routes in Italy, Spain and France with access to major hubs throughout the Mediterranean, the road and rail network of southern France and major businesses located in the region.-TradeArabia News Service