P&O Ports, a subsidiary of Dubai’s DP World, will begin to operate the container terminal in the Port de Sete in the south of France from early next year.
The three-year contract, announced in July, will see P&O Ports operating a container yard with a draft up to 14.5m draft with 457 metres of quay and adjacent two hectares land.
On a visit to Sète this week, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zones Corporation (PCFC) met with the regional president, Carole Delga and Port Authority president Jean-Claude Gayssot.
He noted that the start of operations was due in early 2018 and encouraged those with an interest in the Sète container terminal to contact P&O Ports so they can prepare services for future customers and partners.
Delga said: “The presence of P&O Ports is a significant undertaking for the Region Occitanie and the Port of Sète, and will contribute to the economic development of Occitanie and France.
“Container development is a priority for us as it underpins the efforts of taking the region forward. The agreement with P&O Ports is a major achievement for our region and for French companies. It enables the Port of Sète to strengthen its trade relations with the world.”
Port de Sete is a deep draft port, handling frozen, chilled, general and breakbulk cargo, containers and livestock alongside cruise and ferry terminals, a marina, cement handling facilities and an agro-industrial complex.
It forms part of the network of feeder routes in Italy, Spain and France with access to major hubs throughout the Mediterranean, the road and rail network of southern France and major businesses located in the region.
Bin Sulayem said: “Port de Sète has the potential to develop into a major trade and logistics hub for the region and our experience has shown us the importance of multi modal transport links to realise this goal.
“With the logistics zone, rail and road links as well as our investment in port infrastructure, the southeast of France is set to become an important location in the region and the Mediterranean. We look forward to working with local government and port authorities on realising this vision, developing local talent and the trade potential of Sète.”
Sète received a further boost to its economy recently when it was chosen as the location for a new superyacht marina project by IGY Marinas and P&O Marinas, another subsidiary of DP World.
Development is due to start at the end of the year and once open will offer 12 dedicated superyacht berths for the world’s largest vessels of up to 328 feet (100 metres) with a maximum draft of 23 feet (7 metres).