ArcelorMittal Gent, manufacturer of steel products, PMV, a Flemish investment company, Euroports, a terminal operator, and North Sea Port, a Belgian-Dutch port authority, have teamed up to erect the first roofed loading bay and warehouse in the Port of Ghent.
The All Weather Terminal (AWT) will be set up at the expense of €50m. The 27 m above the sea level AWT will be 240 m-long and 60 m-wide, of which the roofed quay will be 200 m-long and 25 m-wide. The facility will have a storage capacity of up to 60kt, with the warehouse part equipped with three and the pre-sorting zone with two fully automated travelling cranes. Two cranes will handle ships up to 10k dwt-big. There will be two load- and unloading tracks at the quay.
Construction of the AWT - to be carried out by Stadsbader under a design, build, and maintain contract, while the North Sea Port will commission dredging of the mooring basin - will most probably kick off by end-2018. The facility is scheduled to start operating by mid-2020. The new terminal is being built next to the existing multipurpose cargo bay of ArcelorMittal Gent, and will be used in the first place to store and ship finished steel coils. It will be possible to use a portion of the storage capacity, up to one-fifth, for the handling of other goods, e.g. paper.
The AWT GENT AV, a special-purpose entity, has been established to own the AWT. On behalf of the entity, Euroports will operate the terminal.
"Previously, high-grade steel could only be unloaded with dry weather while this can now happen 24/7, irrespective of weather conditions. The AWT allows a more distributed supply of coils from the dispatching warehouse of ArcelorMittal Gent to the quay, and thus optimises the internal logistics," Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO, ArcelorMittal Belgium, commented.
He also said, "In addition, the use of the AWT, in combination with the existing 'open' mixed goods quay, is necessary to realize the growth of the Ghent-based steel company. The AWT is also an investment in sustainability because the higher shipping capacity per ship results in considerable savings in the number of transport truck movements (up to 25,000 trucks per year)."