With the help of a subsidy from the European Union, an additional container terminal infrastructure was completed in the eastern part of Muuga Harbour, costing almost billion kroons and enabling to serve up to 350 thousand TEUs annually.
According to Erik Ringmaa, Chief Commercial Officer of AS Tallinna Sadam, the whole international logistics business is heading towards container transport. „Container is a future business and it’s about time for Tallinna Sadam to enhance its competitiveness and create conditions for expansion of container transport,“ Ringmaa noted.
„The range of products being transported in mobile and safe containers has widened significantly, up to bulk and liquid cargo; moreover, the first ocean container ships have already reached the region,“ Ringmaa marked.
„The project was helped by good timing as well – the price turned out to be almost one sixth cheaper than originally planned due to decrease in prices in construction business,“ Ringmaa said.
„Tallinna Sadam has created all the possibilities, but the operator has to make a contribution almost as substantial. Investments into infrastructure have large impact and long pay-back period, which is why we issue from long-term interest when choosing the operator, assuring a sustainable development in the viewpoint of economic development of the country, as well,“ Ringmaa noted.
„At the moment, we are in the middle of negotiations with several possible operators, including AS Muuga CT that operates a container terminal at Muuga Harbour, but pursuant to the European Union Ports Policy and competition law and according to the terms and conditions of the Cohesion Fund, equal opportunities have to be guaranteed to all possible participants,“ Ringmaa said.
„Considering the improving economic environment, Estonia’s entry into euro area, and the fact that the expected life of the object is at least 50 years, it is not reasonable to make a hasty decision – economy and carriage of goods are on the rise again, so we will certainly enter into better contract than we would have in the last year, for instance,“ Ringmaa observed.
When liquid bulk terminals are concentrated to the western side of the Harbour, the container terminal is located in the east. The development project included a 71-hectare area, 27 hectares of which were prepared for building the container terminal, and 44 for use as hinterland area. Part of the project was to build a 378-meter-long berth and elongate one of the excising berths by 100 meters. In addition to that, a necessary infrastructure of connecting roads and communications will be built to serve the eastern section of the Harbour.
The cost of investments was almost billion kroons. In the end of 2006, the European Commission allocated a subsidy in the amount of 361 million kroons from the Cohesion Fund of the European Union to extend the eastern part of Muuga Harbour. Most of the subsidy was used to finance the extension of the container terminal and the rear area. The work for building road- and utility networks to the new part of harbour is continuing.
Completion of the container terminal also enables for II stage of the extension of the eastern section of the Muuga Harbour to begin in the additional 44-hectare rear area, during which berths in the total length of up to 1.2 km could be built.
According to the results of the current year, Tallinn Harbour is still the largest harbour in the Baltic area. On the basis of the half-year summary, the Harbour has serviced goods in the amount of 17.9 million tons, exceeding the indicator of the same period of 2009 by 16.5 per cent.