The CMA CGM group, the largest maritime container carrier in France, will invest EUR 20 million in development of infrastructure at the Odesa seaport.

Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelian announced this on his Facebook page, the CFTS portal reports.

"A document on investment of EUR 20 million in the Odesa seaport by CMA CGM, the leading container operator in France and one of the top three container operators in the world, has been signed. We will significantly increase cargo traffic within five years," the minister wrote.

He was referring to an agreement that was drafted in France last week in the form of a memorandum between the Ukrainian Seaports Authority (USPA), the Odesa Commercial Seaport, LLC Brooklyn-Kiev Port, and CMA CGM.

According to the USPA’s head Raivis Veckagans, "the berths Nos. 13-з and 14-с at the Odesa seaport will be reconstructed under this project. This will prevent ships from idling and significantly increase the volume of cargo handling."

Later, the Odesa port authority’s head Ihor Tkachuk also said that the projected would involve reconstruction of the berths. “The container terminal at Grain Harbor is achieving an impressive increase in transshipment volumes. At the same time, the terminal cannot receive vessels that are 300 meters long because it does not have the length of the berth No. 42. The Brooklyn-Kiev Port2 company, which operates the terminal, currently bypasses this problem by using the facilities of the universal berth No. 43. However, this is not very convenient... Considering the existing potential for development of the terminal, we are confident that the decision of our partner CMA CGM to increase its presence in the Odesa seaport in the near future will bring economic benefits to all parties," Tkachuk said.

CMA CGM is the largest sea container carrier in France. The company's headquarters is in Marseille. CMA CGM is represented in more than 160 countries. The company has a fleet of about 500 vessels with a combined capacity of 2.53 million TEU. CMA CGM transported 18.95 million TEU last year.

Brooklyn-Kiev Port LLC operates a container terminal based on the berths Nos. 42-43 at the Odesa seaport’s Grain Harbor. The company, the founders of which include the CMA CGM Group, was established in 2006. The berth No. 42 received the first ship on 23 October 2008 and received the first 300-meter container ship (the CMA CGM Baudelaire) on 22 February 2010. Three unloading cranes currently handle ships at the terminal. Brooklyn-Kiev Port LLC plans to increase its container handling volume to 260,000 TEU in 2018.