27 September 2014

[270914.EN.SEA] Court Rules For Rotterdam in 3-year Fight With Hutchison Port Operator

A ROTTERDAM court has backed the Rotterdam Port Authority against Hong Kong-based Hutchison's European Container Terminals (ECT) in three-year dispute over who should have run Maasvlakte2.

Hutchison's ECT claimed US$1.7 billion in lost earnings from the award of the two terminals at the massive Maasvlakte2 facility to Maersk unit APM Terminals and Rotterdam World Gateway.

But the district court said the port authority did not act unlawfully by promoting greater competition between container stevedoring terminals.

Founded in 1963, ECT is Rotterdam's first container terminal. It claimed the tendering process was unfair and that it was guaranteed an average utilisation rate of 85 per cent.

But the court said: "ECT was not denied fair tendering. Terms and conditions the port authority made with ECT are no less favourable than those made with its rivals. The port made no commitment to ECT it failed to honour.

In response to the ruling, the authority said it regretted that the issue led to legal proceedings and that it now hoped to be able to bring this matter to a close.

Maasvlakte2 winners Rotterdam World Gateway, owned by DP World, MOL, Hyundai Merchant Marine, APL and CMA CGM, will have a first-phase capacity of 2.3 million TEU while the new APMT facility will have an initial capacity of 2.4 million TEU.

Source : SN-TR, 26.09.14.

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