SIPG seeks to extend control along Yangtze River

SHANGHAI International Port Group is seeking to invest in Taicang port in eastern China to extend its reach further along the Yangtze River.

A source from SIPG told Lloyd’s List that the group was currently in talks with the two main investors of Taicang International Container Terminal regarding capital investment in the port.

TICT is the only container port facility in Taicang and is a joint venture between Modern Terminals and Cosco Group. Modern Terminals holds 51% of the port and Cosco a 46.87% stake. The remaining minority stake is shared among local investors and authorities.

Danny Wang, deputy general manager of Modern Terminals’ subsidiary in Taicang, said he wouldn’t comment on the issue, while Cosco Group could not immediately be reached.

Taicang is located at the lower course of the Yangtze River and is part of Suzhou city in southeast Jiangsu province.

With a designed capacity of 2.35m teu, the port has barely utilised half of its facilities.

It handled 661,900 teu in the first six months of this year, up 60% from the same period last year. TICT’s throughput was 1.02m teu in 2007, 65% more than the previous year.

SIPG, which controls all terminals in Shanghai, the estuary of the Yangtze River, has about 20% of its cargo coming from ports along the Yangtze last year.

One of the three expansion strategies of the group is to spread its influence along the Yangtze River

In April, the group struck a deal to build a 13-berth terminal in central China’s Chongqing city. Late last year, the company took a 91% stake in Jiujiang port in the lower course of the Yangtze. It also controls Wuhan Port in Hubei Province and has stakes in Hunan Province’s Changsha Port, Jiangsu Province’s Nanjing Port and Zhejiang Province’s Jiangyin Port.