As part of planned upgrading works for the Europa Terminal, PSA Belgium has inked two agreements in December 2022 as it looks to increase the terminal’s handling capacity by 40 per cent.

On 14 December, PSA Belgium signed a deal for 14 new electric Automatic Stacking Cranes (ASCs) from Austrian crane builder Kuenz and systems integration specialist ABB Global. This is PSA’s first order of end-load ASCs Group-wide.

When fully completed, the Europa Terminal will have 48 new ASCs to operate its upgraded yard. In future, this new method of handling will result in a significant increase in capacity, enabling Europa Terminal to stack containers more densely – up to six high instead of just three high.

The new ASCs will help PSA Belgium reach its sustainability goals of halving carbon emissions by 2030, as investing in new electricity-powered equipment instead of diesel cranes and straddle carriers will significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

The second agreement was inked on 15 December with Stadsbader/DSG to upgrade the civil and electrical infrastructure for the first phase of works at Europa Terminal. This includes preparing the yard for the new ASCs, quay cranes, and new truck flows. It begins in January 2023 and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2025.

The refurbishment project at Europa Terminal officially started on 7 October 2022 and will take nine years to complete. When completed, Europa Terminal’s capacity will expand by more than 700,000 TEU per annum, an increase of about 40 per cent. It will also be able to accommodate ships of up to 25,000 TEUs, compared to its 11,000 TEUs limitation currently. PSAA’s other terminals, such as Noordzee Terminal and the MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET), are already equipped to handle ultra-large container vessels.

General Manager of PSA Belgium Jurgen De Wachter, is enthusiastic about the start of the works: “Because our operations must be able to continue during the extensive works and in order to minimize operational impact, the works will be executed in three major phases. Part of our quay and yard will at different times not be available to us because of the works, but our terminal will remain operational at all times. We have also made extra space available at our Noordzee terminal.”

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