Shareholders of Romanian port operator Comvex have endorsed a €52mn investment to convert berth 80 of Constanta port into a cereal terminal with a storage capacity of 200,000 tonnes. The company will use €5mn of retained earnings, but the shareholders approved the contracting of bank loans worth up to €52mn as well.
The move is aimed at capitalising on rising grain exports from the region - including traditionally Hungary, Serbia and more recently Bulgaria - besides local grain traders.
The new terminal will not compete with existing cereal terminals in Constanta port, but will target the extra-large ships of 120,000-140,000 tdw due to the 18.5mn depth of the water, the company’s manager Viorel Panait explained last year when the project was announced. Comvex terminals at Constanta port are linked to the Danube, to the railway network and to the Constanta-Bucharest motorway.
Faced with weaker demand for handling minerals, Comvex has recently focused on grain. The volume of grain exported through Constanta port are estimated at 7.5mn tonnes for the marketing year that ended this June, accounting for 85% of Romania’s grain exports for the period. Romania’s exports of grains are estimated to have risen by 10% y/y to 9.5mn tonnes during the past marketing year. The harvest this year is expected to rise by 15% y/y to 24mn tonnes.
Comvex is 63% controlled by Solidmet limited liability firm that, in its turn, is controlled by local investors Liviu-Marin Muntean and Corneliu Idu. A subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, Expert Placement Services, owns 28% in Comvex.
Comvex operates the largest bulk raw material handling terminal in the Black Sea area. The terminal covers an area of 700,386 sqm in the south of Constanta Port. The company is the leading specialist in handling, storing and transhipment of dry bulk minerals such as iron ore, coal, coke and bauxite.
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