APM Terminals (APM ) has signed a final agreement with Petkim Petrokimya, a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), for the construction and operation of a new container and general cargo terminal, the Aegean Gateway Terminal (AGT ), in Turkey.

Petkim will invest about $400m for the construction of the new container terminal near Izmir on Turkey’s Aegean coast.

Operations at the first phase of AGT are expected to start in summer 2015, and will serve Izmir and the Aegean region.

Petlim, a subsidiary of Petkim, will be responsible for the infrastructure and construction work while APM Terminals will provide the machinery and equipment.

Under the concession agreement, APM will also be responsible for operating the container terminal and general cargo terminal at AGT for a period of 28 years, which may be extended further.

AGT will have an initial capacity of 1.5 million teu per year, 50% more than the current capacity of the Port of Izmir.

APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer said the project will give the company an entry into Turkey’s high growth market with partners like Petkim Petrokimya Holding and SOCAR.

"We look forward to establishing a long term presence in Turkey and apply APM Terminals’ strong operational skills as well as our customer and safety focus into further developing the Izmir area into a key strategic logistics centre," Fejfer said.

Further investment will be phased in to bring capacity up to three million teu per annum, depending on market demand.

The new terminal will have a quay length of 700m with 15.5m of water depth to allow simultaneous berthing of two container vessels of more than 10,000 teu.

The project’s first phase is expected to provide 350m of quay, while phase two would extend the quay by an additional 350m by 2016.

The port will incorporate a 30ha electrified rubber-tired gantry crane (eRTG)-operated container stacking yard, including a workshop and administration building.