May 8, 2019 – Singapore-based global terminal operator PSA International is acquiring Halterm Container Terminal in Halifax from current owner, Australia’s Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, for an undisclosed sum. “PSA has finalized an agreement to acquire Halterm Container Terminal in the Port of Halifax, Canada and Penn Terminals in Philadelphia, USA from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets,” confirmed a spokesperson for the Macquarie Group. “This transaction is in the process of securing regulatory approvals from the respective USA and Canadian authorities.” PSA reportedly beat out a joint bid by Canadian National Railway CN) and French carrier CMA CGM, along with another bid from Logistec Corporation of Montreal, and other bidding interests. The Halterm acquisition gives PSA International a base on the North American East Coast with which to compete with other terminal operators. The transaction marks the second major entry of PSA International this year in Canada’s transportation sector. In January, PSA acquired a 60% majority interest in privately-owned Ashcroft Terminal, British Columbia’s largest inland terminal which is undergoing a C$28 million expansion. The latter is served by both CN and CP main railway freight lines and targets cargo with the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

In recent months, the Macquarie Group has been divesting some of its worldwide assets.The assets are part of the Macquarie Infrastructure Partners funds, which are 10 year closed end funds so as the end of the 10 year period approaches, the assets are put up for sale. Another holding in Canada, Fraser Surrey Docks, a breakbulk facility in British Columbia in the Port of Vancouver, is also said to be up for sale. Container traffic at Halifax (where Ceres also has a box terminal) has been rebounding in the past few years – attaining 550,000 TEUs – thanks to new services notably with Asia and larger ships of more than 10,000 TEU calling at the Nova Scotia port, where CN offers the sole rail connection with Montreal, Toronto and the US Midwest. As a key contribution to the port’s big ship program, Halterm has ordered a super post-Panamax container gantry crane and associated lifting equipment. The new crane, slated for delivery in June 2020, will be added to Halterm’s main berth alongside four existing super post-Panamax units and one Panamax crane. A planned temporary expansion of Halterm will increase berth length to handle two large containerships simultaneously. Various options are under discussion for a second stage, including a second permanent berth with a first phase cost exceeding C$500 million. Source : American Journal of Transportation