Under port plans, construction work would start in 2010 and the terminals would be on stream in 2014 – subject to administrative procedures including a public debate, public enquiry and ministerial authorisation.
The preferred operators are due to be identified in autumn 2008. Negotiations would then begin on the detailed operating agreements, which are to include minimum volume guarantees.
The port authority would finance quay and other infrastructure work while the operators would fund landside equipment and buildings – echoing the arrangement for the current Fos 2XL development, where two new terminals operated by Port Synergy and MSC are due in service by 2010.
Fos 2XL will take annual capacity at the existing Fos container terminal – the port’s base for east-west trades – from 700,000 to 2.1m teu.
The 800 m quay Fos 3XL would add capacity of 800,000 teu, while Fos 4XL – with options for a quay of 1,000 or 1,200 m – could handle a further 1m to 1.2m teu.