According to earlier
information, the lessee of the area where, among others, BCT
container terminal at the Port of Gdynia is located will remain in
the hands of BCT. The 30-year contract was signed on December 19.
However, that doesn't mean there won't be any changes. BCT will get
more land at its disposal.
The tender procedure was announced in August 2021. Initial bids were submitted by two companies: International Container Terminal Services Inc., which is the 100% shareholder of BCT, which currently operates the terminal in the said areas, and Gdynia Container Terminal Sp. z o.o., which is the operator of the container terminal located on the other side of the basin at the Port of Gdynia - GCT. The participation of both companies in the tender was expected. Later, however, it was announced that only one bid had been submitted in the final part of the procedure - the bidder was ICTSI, the owner of BCT.
The tender, which culminated in the signing of an agreement between the Port of Gdynia Authority and the Baltic Container Terminal Gdynia, concerned the lease of land with an area of 660,000 square meters, which is almost 1/3 more than BCT currently occupies. Reloading and storage operations in sea trade are to be continued in this area. Originally, there was talk of creating a terminal dedicated to transshipment of elements of offshore wind farms. However, such reloadings are currently taking place in BCT. The terminal will therefore continue transshipment of containerized cargo, as well as parts of wind farms, project cargo and military.
On December 19, the contract was finally signed at the BCT terminal in the Port of Gdynia. Pursuant to it, the company BCT - Bałtycki Terminal Kontenerowy Sp. z o. o. will lease the land from the Port of Gdynia Authority for the next thirty years. On behalf of the Port of Gdynia, the documents were signed by the President of the Management Board, Jacek Sadaj, and the Vice-President of the Management Board and Director of Infrastructure and Asset Management, Kazimierz Koralewski. Hans Ole Madsen, representing ICTSI, signed on behalf of the new-old tenant. The ceremony was also attended by Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Marek Gróbarczyk, Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy Marcin Horała, Ambassador of the Philippines Leah M. Basinang-Ruiz, and Wojciech Szymulewicz, President of the Management Board of BCT.
– We are convinced that this proven lessee, known to us, will perfectly carry out tasks in this area. We are aware that next year we will bring stagnation in container handling, which is why this is an excellent time to make investments. And this is the responsibility of Port of Gdynia Authority. Next year we will have to modernize the Hel Quay, the task will be carried out in stages so that the market of our contractors does not suffer because of this. As a consequence, within two years we will have a deep-water wharf at the Port of Gdynia at our disposal – commented the President of the Port of Gdynia Authority, Jacek Sadaj.
The new agreement enters into force at the end of the current one, i.e. from June 2023. Within three decades of its application, its value may exceed PLN 2 billion. The interested parties emphasized that the contract is beneficial for both the port and BCT, which gains a long horizon of activity and new opportunities thanks to which it can think about increasing transshipments.
– For a container terminal, a 30-year lease period gives stability needed to invest in new means of production and new means of work. The port business is extremely capital-intensive, so this stability is essential to be able to safely make large investments. All container terminals value long-term lease periods – commented Wojciech Szymulewicz, BCT President.
In an interview with Marine Poland, Marek Gróbarczyk, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, pointed out that the extension of the contract with BCT gives the opportunity to develop not only container transshipment, and the operation of such terminals brings about PLN 30 billion to the country's budget annually in customs duties and taxes.
- The fact that we are rushing so hard with contracts and the possibility of increasing transshipments is related to the fact that we are beginning to play an important role not only in the Baltic Sea, but throughout Europe. It is worth recalling that this terminal plays a very important role in the field of NATO transshipments and support for Ukraine. This is also related to the entire potential that is currently transported by sea, and, of course, to the fact that we have the ambition to match German ports in terms of container handling. We are getting there step by step – said Gróbarczyk. – We are about to start with huge investments in the Baltic Sea. By 2026, we are to build about 6 GW of wind farms, and by 2030 this is to increase by another 10 GW. We have a huge need for port areas. I am convinced that BCT's experience in offshore handling will help us with the implementation of offshore wind farms, but I think that all ports will have to cooperate in order to meet these deadlines.
In turn, Deputy Minister Horała emphasized that the fact that the current tenant was the winner of the tender allows avoiding many complications. He pointed out that during the remaining months of the contract, "an entity that would not have its future here would rather focus on possibly making some more profits, and that's it."
– The new entity, in turn, would start with a revolution, with arranging the entire business anew. It is also a matter of what would happen to employees... It would be a whole series of unnecessary complications, which is why I am very happy that BCT submitted the best offer in a competitive tender, that this contract is extended and that the oldest Polish container terminal - for a long time the largest - will continue to operate here. There will remain jobs and business for cooperating partners – said Horała.
The finalization of the tender process and the investments announced by the Port Authority give hope for further increases in transshipments in Gdynia. President Jacek Sadaj has already announced that he is counting on even better results for the whole of 2022 than in the good 2021.
– We operate on the basis of ten different transhipment terminals. Despite the fact that we are aware that the macroeconomic situation will lead to a slight stagnation in container unloading, globally we are still realizing increases. We are convinced that in 2022 the total transshipments will increase by 4 percent compared to the previous, very good year – said Jacek Sadaj.