The council of the Estonian state-owned port operator company Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn) decided on Thursday to grant the company's board the authorities to change the housing rights agreement of the new Muuga port container terminal, extending the completion deadline of the terminal by 12 months, based on the application of Rail Garant Estonia, Postimees Online reports.
"The terminal's developer submitted the application to extend the deadline of the completion of the terminal by 12 months, till July 2014," Tallinna Sadam council chairman Neinar Seli said.
Rail Garant Estonia OÜ representative, barrister Jüri Raidla said that the wish to extend the terminal completion was caused by numerous court disputes that have made it seriously difficult to include financial investors and strategic partners.
The council of Tallinna Sadam agreed to changing the housing rights agreement and extension of deadline due to the fact that the legal disputes that are the obstacle for the development project, should end in case Transiidikeskus AS, which operates a container terminal already in Muuga port, acquires Rail Garant Estonia OÜ and starts implementing the restructuring of the Muuga port container business being prepared by Rail Garant Estonia OÜ, AS Tallinna Sadam and Transiidikeskuse AS.
Tallinna Sadam declared the offer of Russian company Rail Garant as the best among bids that were submitted for operating the new Muuga port container terminal area in March 2011. The other contestant of the competition, Transiidikeskus, that operates the Muuga CT container terminal next to the new terminal area, declared at once then that it would dispute the results and do all it can to avoid the competing terminal being built.
The terminal was supposed to start working in the first quarter of 2013 according to initial plans and when the second stage of it is completed, handle around 300,000 TEU in 2015. Yet, for a long time, the work in the terminal area was at standstill, casting doubts about its future.