EBRD grants €32.5 million loan to enhance container hub at the port of Klaipeda in Lithuania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted a loan supporting a project aimed at increasing the capacity of the container hub at the port of Klaipeda, in Lithuania. This project will create a major regional transshipment hub and will contribute to reducing shipping-related carbon emissions.

Klaipeda is the deep-water and free-ice port located most northerly in the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. It is also the largest logistics hub in Lithuania ensuring routes connecting sea, land and rail. Currently, most cargoes that reach the Baltic Sea must use logistic hubs such as Rotterdam or Hamburg and then transport the contaniers by feeder vessels. By increasing its capacity, the port of Klaipeda will become one of the most important transit logistics hubs serving the Baltic region, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

In order to achieve this objective, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has granted a loan of €32.5 million to Klaipedos Smelte, which is part of one of the largest container terminal operators in the world - Terminal Investment Limited. The loan will be used for the purchase of container cranes, handling equipment and the expansion of the existing container terminal at the port of Klaipeda. The operation will also be funded with a loan of €32.5 million from the Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB).

The support granted by institutions such as the EBRD to these kind of major infrastructure projects is crucial especially in a risk-averse context. Following this idea, the operator Terminal Investment Limited highlighted the fact that the involvement of the EBRD in the project has been key since it served as a catalyst and help to mobilize the necessary funding from private financial institutions.

Project leaders emphasized that the expansion of the container terminal at the port of Klaipeda will mean a major boost to trade in Lithuania and neighbouring countries, and will contribute to improving logistics costs in the consumer chain. It is estimated that the development of this terminal will create 200 new jobs which will help to improve the economy of the area as well as improving the logistic connections by road and rail.