Baltikums Bank Supports Development of Port Companies
September 30, 2015
SIA Ekers Stividors LP launched operations at the Liepāja port in September, and the board of the Liepāja Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has granted it the status of an SEZ capital enterprise. On October 1, the company will launch a new investment plan, fully taking over the assets of the AS Liepājas Osta LM stevedore business.
The development of Ekers Stividors LP at the Liepāja port is possible because of a loan that was issued by the Baltikums Bank this year.
“This loan allows us to buy the necessary technologies, improve our infrastructure so as to provide services to ships that berth in Liepāja, and gradually increase the amount of reloaded cargo to 2.5 million tonnes a year by 2022,” says the company’s board member, Gatis Svētiņš. “We are planning to develop our warehouse facilities and attract long-term clients who are prepared to help in the development of the port’s infrastructure, thus ensuring the sustainable development of the port whilst also improving its efficiency and competitiveness. We already own portal cranes and other pieces of equipment that have been installed at four locations at the Liepāja port. Our owner, SIA GS Stividoring, owns more than 20 pieces of equipment at the Rīga port, and it can be moved to Liepāja as necessary so as to handle large volumes of cargo.”
“The Baltikums Bank has years of experience in financing international trade, as well as an in-depth understanding of the port business, and so we understood the business development plan of SIA Ekers Stividors LP and could take a positive decision about the loan,” says the deputy director of the bank’s Financing Board, Vasilijs Karpovs.” “We saw potential in the company, and we are already discussing ways of supporting the next round of the development of its business.” Karpovs adds that the bank’s priority continues to be to support port companies in Latvia and the other Baltic States.
During the first half of 2015, the Baltikums Bank increased lending by 28% in comparison to the same period last year, with 57% of all loans being invested in the Latvian economy, thus facilitating the export of Latvian products and the creation of new jobs.
SIA Ekers Stividors LP offers stevedore, cargo forwarding, shipping agent and customs brokerage services. The company plans to create 70 jobs in Liepāja and to increase the number to 90 sometime in the future. Gatis Svētiņš has worked in the stevedore business for 22 years, and last year SIA GS Stividoring handled 3.1 million tonnes of cargo at the Rīga port under his leadership.
Public Relations Manager