Puerto de Montevideo, Uruguay / Amberes, Bélgica – 2 de marzo 2021 Katoen Natie, the Belgian operator and owner of a global logistics network, will invest approximately 455 million US dollars in the expansion of the Specializaed Container Terminal managed by Terminal Cuenca del Plata in the Port of Montevideo. The agreement executed with the Uruguayan Government includes a 50-year extension of the terminal concession term. This is one of the largest investments for Katoen Natie, the protagonist of the greatest investment ever made in the history of the Port of Montevideo. This agreement marks a new phase in the development of TCP and consolidates the strategic position of the Port of Montevideo as a regional hub. Katoen Natie has once again confirmed its commitment as a solid long-term partner for our country.
Katoen Natie and the Government of Uruguay recently reached an agreement for a new additional investment in the Port of Montevideo. The investment project includes maximum expansion of the concession area, the construction of an additional 22-hectare container yard, and a second quay wall of approximately 700 meters in length, dredged to 14 meters.
The investment also includes the following:
• new gantry cranes and horizontal transport equipment,
• expansion and modernization of all terminal truck accesses,
• repaving the original container yard,
• new IT systems.
The execution of the project will begin soon and it will generate an increase in employment, both direct and indirect.
Once the project is completed, the Port of Montevideo will have a next generation Specialized Container Terminal, which will at least double its annual capacity and will be ready to operate the most modern container carriers (400m). The two quay walls, together over 1,300 meters in length, will allow TCP to operate simultaneously up to 4 container ships.
This capacity increase and the cargo concentration shall improve the efficiency of TCP’s operations and reduce costs per container, which will reinstate Montevideo in its place of privilege on the map of transit and transshipment traffic routes.
This new agreement makes Katoen Natie, for the second time, the largest investor in the history of the Port of Montevideo, and will strengthen the strategic position of the main port terminal in Uruguay as an efficient port service supplier and a reference in the port system in the Southern Cone of America.
“Terminal Cuenca del Plata is already the most efficient container terminal in South America, but with this new investment we will position the terminal as an indispensable link in the list of the most important hub ports in the continent, while at the same time making the terminal more attractive for Uruguayan exporters”, explained Vincent Vandecauter, General Manager of TCP.
CONTRACT WITH THE URUGUAYAN GOVERNMENT
KATOEN NATIE’s investment is part of a larger agreement with the Uruguayan Government, consequence of the successful culmination of a long negotiation process:
- The Uruguayan State assumes the commitment to guarantee the continuity of the existing port juridical framework which was established to transform the Port of Montevideo into a successful regional hub.
- As this commitment is reaffirmed into the future, the parties agree to expand the infrastructure of the Specialized Container Terminal of the Port of Montevideo, and to that end Katoen Natie, in partnership with the Uruguayan State, will invest approximately 455 million US dollars, and receive a 50-year extension of the terminal concession term.
- Also, Katoen Natie agrees to desist from a claim against the Uruguayan State based on ANP’s violations to the Treaty between Uruguay and the Economic Belgian-Luxembourg Union for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments.
- Terminal Cuenca del Plata agrees to a relevant reduction of its main tariffs for export containers in order to promote Uruguay’s international trade. The final reduction will represent an average savings of 30% on the main services to exporters, who will also have additional free storage days at the terminal, increasing from 3 to 5.
Once again Katoen Natie renews its vocation as long-term investor in Uruguay, and wishes to express its satisfaction with this agreement with the Government, which re-enforces Uruguay’s strength as a country offering juridical reliability, democratic stability and a friendly environment for the development of productive investment.
“This enormous investment confirms our trust in Uruguay as an investment country and a place where our company must “be present”, as well as our conviction that the Port of Montevideo is an excellent logistics hub”, said Karl Huts, Director of Katoen Natie Group and President of Terminal Cuenca del Plata.
Katoen Natie and Uruguay met for the first time in 1996, when Katoen Natie became a large shareholder in Zonamerica. Since the very beginning Katoen Natie has had great trust in the success of the logistics services concept through the free trade zone system, therefore eventually decided to invest in Costa Oriental, another logistics free-zone company, and years later in Polo Oeste. The following years confirmed Uruguay’s potential and reliability, the basis for new strategic decisions and more ambitious Katoen Natie projects, where the group assumed a strong commitment with the country and its future.
In 2001 Katoen Natie was a bidder in the public auction carried out by the Government, to sell a large percentage of the shares of Terminal Cuenca del Plata S.A., a company created to manage and operate the Specialized Container Terminal at the Port of Montevideo, making the highest bid to purchase 80% of the company’s shares. Katoen Natie became partner of the Uruguayan State to transform the Port of Montevideo in the most important container traffic hub in the port ecosystem of the Southern Cone of America.
During the first 20 years of the concession Katoen Natie invested over USD 250 million to transform TCP into the most advanced container terminal of the region. During that period, the extension of the quay wall, the expansion of the container yard, and the acquisition of 7 gantry cranes, 48 straddle carriers, and a strong investment in next generation technology, resulted in high quality services for the customers, with the best productivity in the region.
Today, after several months of intense negotiation, Katoen Natie is very proud to announce that the conciliation process with the Government culminated in a win-win situation, arriving to new agreements that will be the pillar and starting point to again transform TCP into the reference terminal for the region.
Katoen Natie is an international port and logistics services company with presence in 36 countries and 5 continents, employing over 17,000 people. It has 400 operating units distributed in 150 terminals and logistics platforms around the globe. The company has been present in our country since 1996, when it became a major shareholder in Zonamerica, and later on in Costa Oriental. In 2001 it became the major shareholder of Terminal Cuenca del Plata, purchasing 80% of the company’s shares in a public auction organized by the government, which led to the greatest investment on infrastructure ever made in the history of the Port of Montevideo. In 2012, making a strong commitment with the campaign “Uruguay Hub Logístico 2030”, Katoen Natie built Polo Oeste Logistics Park in association with Frigorífico Modelo SA., which currently has developed up to 10 hectares.