Hapag-Lloyd AG is set to become a new partner in Eurogate Group’s terminal in Tangier.
Eurogate Tanger SA, which is managed by Eurogate affiliate Contship Italia SpA, operates a deep water (18m) quay of 812m with 40-ha of back-up land. Throughput shot up last year by 22.9% to 1.4 Mill TEU. Eurogate is extending the terminal with a third berth to the west of the existing facilities.
Moroccan terminal operator Marsa Maroc holds a 50% stake in Eurogate Tanger and the other 50% is held by a consortium Contship Italia, MSC, CMA CGM and Comanav. In effect Eurogate holds a 20% stake and some of this is will likely be held to Hapag-Lloyd, although no figures were mentioned by Nils Haupt senior director communications at the carrier when he reported the initiative.
Hapag-Lloyd has shied away from involvement in container terminals, its only interest today being, however, a significant 25.1% stake in HHLA’s semi-automated CTA Hamburg operation. This is part of a long-term commitment to the port of Hamburg agreed in 2001.
While a partnership in Tangier might make sense for Hapag-Lloyd, it could prove problematic for the city of Hamburg, which has a 14% share in the line. The head of the Hamburg Liberal Party (FDP), Michael Kruse, stated in Hamburg’s parliament: “If the rumors of Hapag-Lloyd’s participation in the Tangier terminal materialise the city’s investment must be checked immediately. The risk for the tax payer cannot depend on the development of port infrastructure thousands of kilometres from Hamburg.”