SINGAPORE: French shipping group CMA CGM and Singapore’s container terminal operator PSA Corporation announced a new joint venture, CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal (CPLT), to operate and use four mega container berths at Singapore’s Pasir Panjang Terminal 3 and 4. CPLT will provide long-term terminal services to CMA CGM and its shipping line affiliates.
The join venture company will start operations on the second half of this year and will allow CMA CGM, NOL and the CMA-backed Ocean Alliance long-term access to Pasir Panjang’s newest and most modern facility. Phase 3 and 4 are designed to accommodate new ultra large container vessels and their heavy cargo flows.
“CPLT will cater to the volume growth of the CMA CGM Group in Asia,” Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO of PSA International, said. “PSA looks forward to working alongside CMA CGM to ensure that its hub operations flourish, and enhance Singapore’s premier status as the world’s busiest transhipment hub. We are honored to embark on this win-win partnership,” Tan added.
“The joint venture is a significant step, demonstrating the ongoing importance of Singapore to our strategy, and delivering on our commitment to making Singapore the Asian hub for the Group,” said Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM vice chairman and NOL chairman.
PSA International, parent company of PSA Singapore Terminals, is wholly owned by state investment group Temasek Holdings – the majority shareholder of NOL until early this month, when it transferred its shares to CMA CGM in a prearranged sale. In announcing the NOL takeover bid last year, Saadé had given his assurance that CMA would commit to a long term presence in Singapore by establishing its regional head office in the city-state and using its port as a key hub for CMA’s Southeast Asian routes. Historically Port Klang, Malaysia has been the feeder connection point for CMA’s French Asia Line (FAL) route, its busiest, and the new joint venture suggests that CMA – and its Ocean Alliance – may shift some portion of traffic to Singapore instead.
The joint venture is perceived as a major coup for Singapore in its bid to win back business lost to other Malaysian hubs such as Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas. Alpahliner said: “Bringing CMA CGM and its new alliance partners back to PSA’s fold could finally reverse a long-term structural decline.”