ICO opens latest terminal at Zeebrugge

On 12 September ICO celebrated the inauguration of the new offices and terminal expansion. The new central gate building accommodates operational and corporate departments to improve both efficiency and communication. The building has 5 levels of 900m² and houses 150 employees. ICO is also proud with the reconstruction of Bruges Toyo Ito pavilion next to ICO’s new building. It is a symbolic link between Bruges and ICO’s Japanese shareholders.

Furthermore, International Car Operators has signed earlier this year a concession agreement with the Port of Zeebrugge for a 54-hectare expansion of the Bastenaken car terminal. The new terminal will have a surface of 200 hectares (totalling about 300 hectares in Zeebrugge) with a quay wall allowing up to 16 vessels to operate simultaneously. This expansion will also aim at connecting the existing Hanze-terminal with the Bastenaken-terminal, enabling traffic arriving at the terminal to enter via the single newly constructed gate building located adjacent to the A11 motorway. 

With the expansion, volume growth, its dedicated staff and the terminal's unique location, ICO upholds its status as a world leading car handling terminal. Added to continued volume growth, ICO Managing Director Marc Adriansens states that focus is also on creating a “Green” terminal.

With solar panels in place and ongoing installation of led lighting, 2019 will see the erection of up to 11 windmills.

Whilst supplying clean electricity to the local community, power will be used to supply a planned considerable number of electrical loading stations in light of the increase in electrical private car sales.

Electricity will also be required to charge all future electrically powered terminal handling equipment. Our goal is to offer power (cold ironing) to all vessels berthing at the ICO terminals, enabling ships to shut down their engines completely during port operations.

In a digitalized world we focus on further developing our state of the art Terminal Operating System, which is aimed at benefiting customers and optimizing operational standards and efficiency in the ICO terminal.

Our goal and wish is for ICO to be a “Flag Ship” terminal, highlights Svein Steimler, Chairman of ICO and President/CEO, NYK Group Europe Limited. With some 1,250 employees, ICO is a notable company for the families of the local community surrounding our terminals. The continued growth and expansion combined with digitalization of a “Green” state of the art terminal is very much in line with our group strategy.

Renaat Landuyt, Major of Bruges and Chairman Port of Zeebrugge said: “ICO has been one of the major players in the port for years now. The city council is very pleased to hear that this company has invested and expanded in Zeebrugge, as this will give a boost to the economy of the city and the port. The pavilion by Toyo Ito, that previously adorned the Burg square in Bruges, has been placed at the entrance of the building. It symbolizes the link between ICO and its mother company NYK in Japan. The inhabitants of Bruges and other passers-by, however, will still be able to enjoy it, as it is visible to all traffic coming from Bruges and driving to Zeebrugge via the new A11 interchange.”

Joachim Coens, Managing Director Port of Zeebrugge said: “Port of Zeebrugge is pinned on the world map as the largest car handling hub offering specialized know how. We owe our reputation to the high ambitions pursued by companies such as ICO and NYK.”

Flemish Minister for Energy Bart Tommelein said: “It is to ICO’s credit that it is making its new buildings extra energy efficient and fitting them with solar panels, LED lighting and a heat pump. In addition, their future wind turbine park nicely illustrates the ambitions we pursue with the Flemish Wind Plan. The Port of Zeebrugge is an excellent location for a large-scale wind turbine project: the wind blows constantly here, there are hardly any residential buildings in the neighborhood and there is a guaranteed number of consumers. As a large international car transport company, ICO will be able to use the green electricity in the future for loading electric vehicles and as shore-side electricity for cargo ships.”