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Works under way on new Netherlands rail freight hub
SABIC supply chain director tells Lloyd's Loading List.com that facility will help drive modal shift
Work has just begun on the construction of a €15.5 million rail freight terminal in Geleen, in the southern Netherlands, in which the Belgian port of Antwerp is a shareholder.
Antwerp is part of a consortium which also includes Belgian operator, Ewals Intermodal and local Dutch haulier, Meulenberg.
The Antwerp Port Authority’s (APA) backing for the terminal reflects a key objective of expanding links with the port’s natural hinterland and drawing cargo from a wider area,
“Participating in this new terminal in Geleen fits in with this challenge perfectly,” said APA CEO, Eddy Bruyninckx. “More specifically, the rail terminal will serve to increase the share of rail in the overall modal split for transport between the southern Netherlands and Antwerp. It will also enable us to attract more cargo from the southern Netherlands to Antwerp.” he added.
About 10% of Antwerp’s container traffic currently leaves the port by rail and the APA is aiming to increase this to 15% by 2020.
The rail freight facility, which is scheduled to enter service in April 2013, will be located on the Chemelot industrial complex, home to a cluster of chemicals manufacturers, including SABIC Polymers Europe, a unit of Saidi Arabian petrochemicals group, SABIC.
"Along with a number of other shippers based in Geleen, we launched the idea of a rail terminal several years ago as part of a concerted policy to transfer more and more of our cargo from trucks to trains," Raf Bemelmans, SABIC Polymers Europe’s director supply chain, told Lloyds Loading List.com.
"We are ready to generate the rail terminal’s basic volumes as soon as it enters service," he said.
The terminal will handle non-dangerous chemicals but not exclusively, its services being available to any shipper in the vicinity of Geleen operating in whatever sector.
"Increasing road congestion around major ports in western Europe means that intermodal transport solutions must be developed for the export and on- forwarding of goods and this is the significance of the Geleen rail terminal project," Bemelmans added.
SABIC Polymers is eyeing train routes linking Geleen with southern Germany and Italy.
[ ] 2012-07-01