01.05.2021 - Transport and logistics

LATRAPS partners in a dry bulk cargo terminal

A year-long deal has been concluded this week, and the Agricultural Services Cooperative Company LATRAPS has acquired a 50% + 1 share in the dry bulk cargo terminal “Alpha osta”.

“LATRAPS entry into the Freeport of Riga means that the port is developing. Investments of local farmers in the capital of “Alpha osta” provide a solid basis for further development, facilitated by the change of cargo structure in the Freeport of Riga. Due to those changes, the port company, which had been initially developed as a mineral fertilizer transhipment terminal, was repurposed to grain handling. Now it is evident that “Alpha osta” has successfully coped with this transformation challenge, “ said Ansis Zeltins, the Freeport of Riga CEO.

So far, all necessary measures have been implemented at the terminal to maintain high quality in grain handling. The current infrastructure of the “Alpha osta” includes specialized grain storage bunkers, an automated transportation and ship loading system, facilities to accommodate Panamax vessels, and a powerful rail infrastructure.

“LATRAPS strategy has always been aimed at developing its processing sites on railway access roads. There are many benefits to this. We can deliver 3 thousand tons to the port by a railroad train, which is significantly more than by road. In addition, there is less cargo traffic load on roads and cities. Therefore, the fact that the “Alpha osta” has a well-developed railway infrastructure was one of the main advantages that we took into account when assessing the possibility to expand our operation in the port of Riga,” commented Edgars Ruza, Chairman of the LATRAPS Board.

Throughput capacity of the “Alpha osta” exceeds 20 thousand tons per day, and the total grain storage capacity exceeds 100 thousand tons, which is initially sufficient and appropriate for grain handling, but in the future, the company is planning additional investments to increase this capacity.

“Since the global demand for grain is currently high, we plan to invest in our storage capacity in the coming years. In terms of current projects, some warehouses are currently equipped with scales to ensure more precise loading control. To prevent dust, we are investing in the installation of aspiration systems, which will effectively clean the air from dust generated during the grain handling process,” added E. Ruza.

A globally widespread but rarely used Latvian method of attracting financing - a closed bond issue - has been used for the terminal acquisition. LATRAPS members were offered to buy bonds for five million euros. Farmers' investments and trust in the company ensured the success of the transaction. 

“It is important that local capital is used to implement the project. Grain is one of the largest export goods, provided by our farmers - local grain producers, and these goods are delivered to the port and handled by local companies. This is the export-oriented capital of Latvia, which has a significant impact on the Latvian economy,” commented A. Zeltins.

Source: rop.lv

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