RLL Container Report - 05 July 2017
From: John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd. Email: email@example.com Date: 05 July 2017
The past few months have seen a great deal of investment in container terminals by major chemical producers in both China and Russia. PetroChina is investing heavily in intermodal projects in the western province of Xinjiang and more particularly in Korla. This city is located some 4,000 km to the West of the main Chinese ports but only a short distance from the border crossing to Kazakhstan and the broad gauge rail system, which PetroChina intends to make full use of in order to supply its products to major clients in Germany and France. Looking for a European partner with experience in all aspects of intermodal shipments of liquid and dry chemicals, the Chinese have concluded a deal with Bertschi, a Swiss company with over 50 years’ experience in the transport and distribution of hazardous chemical products around the globe. Bertschi owns 29,000 transport units, 25 terminals as well as six tank cleaning stations and although it is located in a small town in Northern Switzerland and is family owned, last year the company reported a turnover of CHF 720 million. Clearly, the Swiss are doing something right. The plan is to establish a large and modern intermodal terminal in Korla, from where block trains can be despatched to major clients in Germany and France. Bertschi has already supplied 82 new tank containers to distribute petrochemical products to receivers in Europe.
At the same time, the Russian petrochemical giant, SIBUR has concluded a deal with Karl Schmidt Spedition, a Heilbronn-based company which has been in the chemical transport business for almost 70 years. The German company will provide terminal and transport services to Sibur’s new subsidiary, ZapSibNefteKhin based in Tobolsk, the historical capital of Siberia. Here, Schmidt will construct a modern container terminal, from where ZapSib can supply its products to Russia as well as the Far East and Europe. Like PetroChina, ZapSib has teamed up with a leading and highly experienced partner in the intermodal transport sector, which will assist the chemical giant to project its presence in the global market. For its part, Karl Schmidt has already placed an order with Baltkran for four RMG container cranes, which will be delivered by the end of next year. When in place, the cranes will allow the Siberian terminal to handle up to 2 million tons of products per annum. Both the Russian and the Chinese chemical producers were keen to tie up with highly respected transport companies and offered attractive terms to entice there leading European operators to set up camp far away from their normal areas of operation in Switzerland and Germany.
Meanwhile in Western Russia, some 60 km to the south of the Kremlin, Coalco is trying to establish a rail container terminal “Central Dry Port” with a project annual throughput of 400,000 teu. Together with their partners, Kazakh railways, Coalco plan to invest USD 169 million in constructing their 60 hectare complex just off the M4 Don highway. At the same time, Ecodor is awaiting the green light to proceed with the extension to its rail-connected container terminal in Podolsk, South Moscow with convenient access to both the M2 and the MKAD highways.
John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd.
05 July 2017
Copyright ©, 2017, John Keir