The decision to upgrade the cranes followed the collapse of privatisation plans, with three units taken out of service during last year and work starting on the remaining two this year.
The 13 metre local draught limitation restricts the size of ships able to call at the terminal, which, along with underinvestment in infrastructure over the years, has resulted in Izmir’s container facility being overstretched. This in turn has resulted in the development of alternative competing private facilities nearby.
Some 40 km north-west at Aliaga, the 400,000 teu capacity Nemrut Container Terminal in Nemrut Bay, operated by Nemport, and the 380,000 teu TCEEGE Container Terminal, operated as a joint-venture between TCB Grup of Barcelona and local Ege Gübre both compete with Izmir’s facility.
A third privately operated container facility, with a predicted capacity of 1.5m teu, is being developed by APM Terminals and Petkim Petrokimya Holdings, with the first phase 350 m quay set to open by next year; a second 350 m quay is expected to become operational in 2014. The terminal will have 16m draught alongside, enabling it to accommodate vessels up to 10,000 teu capacity.