DP World unit abandons French concession

Port de Sète P&O Ports contract at Port de Sète had the option of being converted to a long-term concession. Credit Port de Sète

DP World-owned P&O Ports has reportedly withdrawn from its contract to run the container terminal in the Port de Sète in France.

The Dubai-headquartered port management company won a three-year management contract to operate the container terminal in July 2017, but according to French media publications La Lettre M.fr and Le Journal de la Marine Marchande, the contract has been cut short.

P&O Ports’ contract, which had the option of being converted to a long-term concession, entailed it operating a container yard with a draft up to 14.5m draft, 457m of quay and an adjacent two hectares of land.

In the early stages of the contract, the terminal was due to continue to primarily cater for feeder services in the eastern Mediterranean, the Maghreb region and North Africa. However, following development, the terminal was expected to see more multinational shippers use its services, with other international destinations added over time.

Port de Sète is a deep draft port handling general and breakbulk cargo, containers, ro-ro services and livestock alongside cruise and ferry terminals, a marina, cement handling facilities and an agro-industrial complex.

Port Strategy has contacted P&O Ports for comment.

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