The European Commission has cleared the joint venture between France-based Rubis' Terminal division and Japan's Mitsui & Co's European subsidiary to build a 110,000 m3 terminal in Antwerp, Belgium.
The transaction was considered under the EU's simplified merger review procedure for cases which the commission believes do not pose competition concerns. The terminal will be for the storage and handling of various liquid chemicals, gases and petroleum products.
Mitsui and Intercontinental Terminals Company will jointly acquire 50% of the joint venture, while Rubis will retain the remaining 50% of the shares. The company will be renamed ITC Rubis Terminal Antwerp. The joint venture intends to expand the facility to a capacity of 400,000 m3.
The construction of the first phase will begin in 2008 and the start-up of operations is planned for the second half of 2009.
Rubis has revealed strong growth in turnover for Q4 2007 and an increase of 17% to 852 million for the year as a whole. Turnover for the Rubis Terminal division was 9% lower than the 2006 figure, due to a decline in the group's petroleum trading operations. But sales from terminalling activities were up 8% year-on-year with Q4 posting particularly strong growth as the company continues to benefit from rising biofuels throughput.