ICTSI signs new 30-year lease for Baltic Container Terminal in Gdynia, Poland
Hans Ole-Madsen (far right, seated) ICTSI senior vice president, regional head - EMEA, and Wojciech Szymulewicz (far right, standing), BCT CEO, with Port Authority of Gdynia S.A. representatives during the signing of the lease extension for BCT.
In a ceremony held in Gdynia, on 19 December 2022, a new 30-year lease was signed into life by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and the Port Authority of Gdynia SA for the Baltic Container Terminal (BCT). The new lease will run until 2053.
The new lease, for which ICTSI was declared preferred bidder, effectively extends the tenure of BCT under the management and operation of Philippine-headquartered ICTSI, the 100 percent owner of BCT. ICTSI has been active in the Port of Gdynia since 2003, investing in excess of USD100 million in the terminal’s facilities, personnel and general service capability.
Future investments are expected to easily match and exceed this figure and will initially complement work underway by the Port Authority of Gdynia S.A. to upgrade the port infrastructure to facilitate the access and handling of larger vessel sizes. Stage 1 works have been completed, enabling BCT to handle vessels with an LOA of up to 366 meters. Subsequent developments will provide access for and the handling of much larger vessels of up to 400 meters LOA.
BCT represents an important component in Poland’s port infrastructure – it functions as a key maritime gateway for feeder services, relaying cargo to/from the main North European hubs and as a main port of call for direct services – the Scan/Balt – USA and the North West Continent – India Pakistan Services. The development work in-hand promises to enable BCT to consolidate and expand handling both categories of service to the direct benefit of exporters and importers. Equally, it will facilitate the handling of special cargoes such as advanced military equipment.
“BCT has considerable expertise in this area,” emphasizes Wojciech Szymulewicz, BCT chief executive officer, “meeting stringent security requirements, and as such enjoys the trust of the Polish army and Poland’s NATO Allies.”
Recent years have also seen BCT make its mark in the handling of wind turbine components destined for use in onshore wind farms. It further expects to deploy this expertise in conjunction with offshore wind farms, which are planned for development over the short to medium term.
“We are pleased to extend our long and positive relationship with the Port of Gdynia, said Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI senior vice president, regional head - Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), speaking on the occasion of the formal signing of the lease extension. “We look forward to playing our part in the next growth phase foreseen for the port and to rolling out new investments in a sustainable way that will meet the latest client requirements, build the terminal’s strategic attributes and maximize positive economic impact across the board, for BCT, the port and city as a whole.”
The emphasis on sustainability at BCT will be further reflected in the ongoing efforts to move cargo into and out of the terminal via rail, not just to national destinations but beyond Poland’s borders. BCT’s market reach via rail includes all major destinations in Poland and extends along the increasingly important trans-European Baltic – Adriatic Corridor (Corridor VI). This runs from Gdynia via southern Poland (Upper Silesia), Vienna and Bratislava and the Eastern Alpine region right through to Northern Italy, serving diverse industrialized centers en route.
BCT processes approximately 250 intermodal trains operated by 13 intermodal operators on a monthly basis. Container cargo moved by rail accounts for 30 per cent of annual throughput.
BCT is also a member of the EU-backed COMODALCE project, designed to take intermodal rail operations to a new, higher level.