Port of Karlshamn will shortly sign a contract with the Dutch company Wasco Coatings Europe BV, regarding handling and storage of pipes for the Nord Stream 2 project. - We are of course pleased to carry out this business which will be important for the ports development a short and long perspective, says Mats Olsson, CEO of Port of Karlshamn.
- We are a commercial business with no competence to make judgements in matters concerning security politics. We have considered the Governments views and we have presented facs about the operation in the port in general and this logistics project in particular. - We are pleased to note that the Government came to the conclusion that the project can be considered to be a part of our normal operation.
DUTCH CUSTOMER AND GERMAN PIPES
- As a port our consideration was to evaluate a business with a Dutch company that will transport German pipes directly from Germany to Karlshamn for temporary storage. Then the pipes will be shipped to a laying barge in the Baltic Sea. This means a marginal increase of the vessel calls in the port. All work will mainly be carried out by employees of the port. Security will be ensured via a Swedish security company. We are talking about purchasing services from the port, not leasing the port. The pipes for Karlshamn will be produced by Europipe GmbH in Mülheim and get a concrete coating in Mukran, Germany by Wasco Coating. After that they will be shipped to Karlshamn. Outbound logistics and laying of the pipeline will be performed by Allseas Group S.A. based in Switzerland. Russian vessels will not be used.
KARLSHAMN IS STRATEGIC FOR SWEDISH INDUSTRY
- Port of Karlshamn is a major player when it comes to cargo flows between East Europe and the Nordic countries, with most RoRo cargo between Sweden and the Baltic States/Russia. Since many years back vehicles and other cargo are carried to and from Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and CIS states via Port of Karlshamn. During 2016 about 700 vessels with Russian crew members was calling the port.
- Port of Karlshamn is one of the top oil ports in Sweden. Large volumes of oil and LPG from Russia are stored in tanks and ground storage. According to the Swedish Institute of Petroleum (SPI), 40-50% of Swedish import of crude oil is supplied from Russia.
- To operate and develop Port of Karlshamn as a major port in the future and at the same time excluding Russian vessels and cargo will be difficult. – If the Government should prohibit us from doing this business, which businesses are we then allowed to do? Is the port allowed to develop or will the Swedish Government/Swedish Defense make limitations for the cargo flow. What would then the consequences be for the Swedish Industry, says Mats Olsson.
EAST EUROPE IMPORTANT MARKETS
- East Europe/CIS are important emerging markets for Swedish industry. Port of Karlshamn is based on the growing trade east-west and we have capacity to expand. - The port is growing well and we see a positive future development even without this business. But in a longer perspective the consequences of the pipe business affects the future of the port. - The operation of a commercial port is based on open borders, trade, exchange and co-operation between countries. It’s in “the ports DNA” to think in this way, says Mats Olsson. - To exclude vessels from one country is alien to us. Since many years back we have had Russian vessels and Russian crews calling the port.
OPENING OF NEW TRADE ROUTE VIA RUSSIA
Large investments was made in Karlshamn to meet the growing cargo flows between east and west. Some partly sponsored by EU with the purpose to stimulate growing trade east-west in Europe. During many years Port of Karlshamn has been an active partner in the efforts to establish new transport links between Sweden and Asia, partly via Russia and the TransSiberian railway/Silk route. During the last months, two Chinese delegations visited Port of Karlshamn for this purpose. Many important exporters and importers in Sweden are supporting the idea of an efficient and reliable land bridge route to China. In the Karlshamn region, there are several important companies with well established business relations with East Europe, Russia/CIS.
100 MILLION AND 50-60 NEW EMPLOYEES
The pipe project means income in the region of 100 million SEK and employment of 50-60 persons directly in the port handling during the project. Also lots of work for the Logistics cluster in Karlshamn, as Shipping agents, forwarders, Pilots, Road Hauliers, Hotels etc.
According to the present time schedule, pipes will start to arrive from Germany in the end of 2017. After some months of storage, there will be a very active period when the pipes will be shipped from the port to the laying barge in the south Baltic. The total project period for Karlshamn will be about two years, depending on weather conditions etc. After that, the project is completed for Port of Karlshamn.
This information comes from Port of Karlshamn (Karlshamns Hamn AB)
CEO Mats Olsson,