The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will help finance a project of a Mediterranean Shipping Co. unit to develop container handling at Lithuania’s Klaipeda port on the Baltic Sea and turn it into a regional hub.
Loans from the EBRD and Skandinasviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEBA) will each finance half of the 65 million-euro ($85 million) expansion of Klaipedos Smelte LKAB, a Klaipeda-based subsidiary of Terminal Investment Ltd., which is part of the MSC group, the EBRD in London said in an e-mailed statement today.
Klaipeda is the northernmost ice-free port on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. By enabling Klaipedos Smelte to handle large deep-sea container ships, instead of the smaller feeder vessels it now relies on, the project will cut costs for transporting cargo to and within the Baltic region, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, according to the EBRD.
“The EBRD is supporting the transformation of Klaipeda into a major regional transshipment hub and helping to reduce shipping-related carbon emissions,” it said in the statement.
The project could as much as quadruple cargo handling at Klaipeda by attracting large ships from the Americas and other distant parts of the world, SEB’s Lithuanian unit said on its website about the bank’s own 32.5 million-euro loan.
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