INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) will press ahead with the US$100-million expansion plan for its Baltic Container Terminal (BCT) in Gdynia, Poland.
ICTSI secured ownership of BCT this year via one of Poland's privatization initiatives, which saw it pay some US$42 million for BCT.
Container traffic at BCT up until the end of September has recorded a double-digit increase over the same period last year. By year-end, the terminal is expected to handle a volume substantially in excess of 247,907 TEUs handled in 2002. Further strong traffic growth is anticipated over the short to medium term with Poland's accession to the European Union, likely to take place as early as next year, expected to play a major part in this. BCT is the primary export/import gateway for container cargo moving between Poland and all other countries around the world with regular liner services connecting to the north European, UK and Baltic ports as well as the growing prospect of a select number of direct services to key world areas.
In its current configuration, BCT possesses four Panamax dimensioned quay cranes and 11 rubber tired gantries (RTGs), and offers an annual capacity of 400,000TEU. ICTSI intends to call for tenders immediately for one additional new quay crane, four 4 RTGs and for the &;giraffing&; of eight of its existing fleet of RTGs to offer a one over five stacking capacity as opposed to the current one over three stacking capacity. New mobile cargo handling equipment will also be acquired to expedite internal yard movements, and a comprehensive new generation container terminal management and operations system will be installed. The initial tender will include the new and replacement equipment acquisitions projected for the first 10 years of operations. Overall, this first phase US$50 million investment is intended to raise annual throughput capacity at the terminal to approximately 900,000 TEUs a year, and is expected to be completed by no later than 2007.
BCT, with input from its parent ICTSI, is proceeding to call for tenders immediately for all the new equipment and management systems to be introduced under this first-phase expansion. A second tender, primarily relating to the replacement of existing equipment, will be forthcoming after the first eight years of operations. It is estimated that an additional US$50 million will be expended in this second phase.