South Korean shipping conglomerate Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has been selected as the preferred bidder for now insolvent Hanjin Shipping’s port terminal operation in Algeciras, Spain, HMM said in a statement.
The company expects to finalize the purchase of a 100 percent stake in Total Terminal International (TTI) Algeciras in late December, subject to due diligence.
The 357,750-square-meter TTI Algeciras terminal is capable of handling containerships with over 10,000 TEUs of capacity and has an annual capacity of 1.86 million TEUs. HMM said the terminal is one of the lucrative assets of Hanjin.
The port of Algeciras’ location at the southern tip of Spain, just across the straight of Gibraltar from Morroco, has made it a popular hub for Asia-North Europe services, Asia-U.S. East Coast routes transiting the Suez Canal, as well as transshipments to West Africa. For HMM, the facility will serve as the intersection for key loops between Europe and South America and Asia and North America, the company said.
Under a lease agreement with the Algeciras Port Authority, HMM will be allowed to use the terminal until July 2040.
Other TTI Algeciras customers include container carriers CMA CGM, the recently merged China COSCO Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, UASC, NileDutch, Arkas, Marfret and X-Press, as well as a host of others via slot sharing agreements, according to ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting
. Of the 38 total direct region-to-region liner services that call at Algeciras, 14 utilize the TTI facility.
HMM officials said the company will look to expand its terminal business with an eye toward long-term growth, and “is planning to boost the competitiveness of the company by taking over additional Hanjin Shipping’s lucrative assets and constructing new vessels.”
The firm owns three port terminals in the United States and Taiwan, as well as a 20 percent stake in the RWG container terminal in the Netherlands.
In other Hanjin liquidation news, the Korea Herald
reported earlier this week Woori Bank has sold four of Hanjin’s liquid bulk tanker vessels to an unnamed buyer based in Hong Kong for $58.6 million.
The bank said the sale of the ships, all between eight and nine years old, would help it to recover 36.8 billion won (U.S. $31.4 million) in uncollected ship financing debt. The vessels were the first of 44 ships Hanjin had purchased on credit and was forced to surrender to creditors as part of the beleaguered company’s bankruptcy proceedings in Korea, according to Woori Bank.
With the signing of the deal late last week, the bank expects to close the transaction and hand over the tankers, which were initially put up for sale in September, before the end of the year.
“Woori Bank’s successful sale of the vessels is expected to positively affect ship sales of other financial institutions,” it said in a statement.