European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 100 million loan to the Rotterdam Port Authority (Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.) for the construction of a barge feeder terminal and expansion of a container terminal located in the west of the Maasvlakte area. Named DELTA 2000-8 and already being operated by ECT (Europe Container Terminals), this terminal will further strengthen Rotterdam's position as Europe's biggest cargo and container port and improve links within the EU and with the rest of the world.

Following an earlier EUR 200 million loan for the Euromax container terminal, this is the EIB's second operation with Havenbedrijf Rotterdam.

The finance contract was signed today in Brussels by EIB President Philippe Maystadt and Havenbedrijf Rotterdam's CEO and Director of Finance and ICT, Hans Smits and Thessa Menssen. Mr Maystadt commented at the signing ceremony: This project will further increase the Port of Rotterdam's container handling capacity. In addition, the barge feeder terminal will strengthen the multimodal nature of traffic flows from the port, thereby reducing traffic problems and the concomitant environmental pollution in the wider Rotterdam area. As the financing institution of the EU, the EIB is supporting this port expansion project because it will enlarge the trans-European network of sea ports.

The container terminal expansion will cover an area of 60 hectares and the barge feeder terminal will comprise 800 metres of new quay. Havenbedrijf Rotterdam will itself implement the construction works, which are scheduled for completion at the end of 2010. Like the Euromax container terminal, the Delta terminal will be equipped with fully automated infrastructure and will be one of most advanced in the world.