Former Opel Antwerp site looking for buyers

Summary

The port of Antwerp has announced that the former site of Opel Antwerp is now ready for sale, with 96 hectares of prime manufacturing space

“Unique site”

The former site of the Opel Antwerp car manufacturing plant is ready to be taken over, the port of Antwerp has announced. The site is 96 hectares, including 34ha of buildings.

According to port CEO Eddy Bruyninckx, the site – officially named the Churchill Industrial Zone because it lies adjacent to the Churchill Dock – would be most suitable for the metal works or chemicals sector. “This is a unique site,” he said. “It’s not every year that you’re able to put something like this on offer. Even the trimodal connection possibilities are unique.”

Companies have until 15 January to communicate their interest. The port will give preference to a concession agreement with a single user, although an outright sale is not excluded from consideration.

That would involve the port taking a priority right to buy the land back, as happened when General Motors decided to close Opel Antwerp. The port bought the land back last year for €42 million, less than half of GM’s asking price of €90 million.

The site could also be broken up. “Major projects don’t just fall out of the sky, although we do think the time is right,” Bruyninckx said. “We are looking mainly at manufacturing industries. Our figures show that is where the most added value and employment opportunities lie.”

Once project proposals are in, they will be considered by a reconversion committee chaired by industrialist Paul Buysse. The agreement could then be completed “in a matter of months,” Bruyninckx said.

Photo courtesy Gemeentelijk Havenbedrijf Antwerpen

The port of Antwerp has announced that the former site of Opel Antwerp is now ready for sale, with 96 hectares of prime manufacturing space.

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Port of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp is Europe’s second-largest port and one of the world’s most important ports for container traffic.
Going green - The port’s first-ever sustainability report won it the Award for Best Belgian Sustainability Report.
Size - The port takes up more space than the actual city of Antwerp.
Roots - Historians have found evidence for the port’s existence dating back to the 12th century.
154

barges entering the port daily

900

companies in the greater port area

184

tonnes of freight handled in 2012