Ports & Terminals

Katoen Natie and Uruguayan Government end dispute with $455 million Montevideo investment commitment

In return, the Belgian operator will have its concession contract extended by 50 years

After months of intense negotiations, Antwerp-based Katoen Natie reached an agreement with the Government of Uruguay to invest 455 million in the expansion of Montevideo’s main container terminal. The Terminal Cuenca del Plata (TCP) is a partnership between Katoen Natie (80%) and the Government of Uruguay (20%) since 2001, but the relations have been difficult due to various disputes over time.

The landmark investment is part of a deal to settle pending conflicts and extend the terminal’s concession for 50 years. The project will see the terminal increasing its footprint to the maximum concession area, including the construction of a new 22-hectare container yard and a second contiguous quay wall of approximately 700m, with a depth of 14m.

The budget also includes upgrades in the original facilities, IT investments, new STS cranes, gantry cranes and other cargo handling equipment. The terminal will be able to handle 2,5 million TEU per year, more than twice current capacity.

Project execution is to start immediately, pending the new contract entering into force.

Terminal Cuenca del Plata. Image credit: Katoen Natie

The deal aims at turning Montevideo into a state-of-the-art container hub in the South Atlantic, capable of operating with 4 ships simultaneously along 1,300m of quayside. “With this investment, we definitely position the terminal as an indispensable link in the list of the most important hub ports on the continent. In addition, we make the terminal more attractive for Uruguayan exporters”, said Vincent Vandecauter, General Manager of TCP.

Over 20 years, TCP invested over $250 million in its facilities in Montevideo.

Katoen Natie is present in 36 countries and employs over 17,000 people. It has 400 operating units distributed in 150 terminals and logistics platforms around the world. In Latin America, besides Uruguay, it operates in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.


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