DP World to pump $200m into new berth at Indian port

Dubai-based ports operator wins a contract to build additional facility at existing terminal in Mumbai.
DP World's existing terminal operation at Nhava Sheva, Mumbai. Adeel Halim / Bloomberg News
DP World's existing terminal operation at Nhava Sheva, Mumbai. Adeel Halim / Bloomberg News

DP World, the global ports operator, has won a US$200 million (Dh734.5m) contract to build and operate another berth alongside its existing terminal in Mumbai.

The announcement is the latest in a series of major projects for DP World, as it reinforces its core business and sells off peripheral joint ventures.

The Mumbai contract, which will run for 17 years, has been awarded by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Indian government, and is for a 13.5 metre-deep 330-metre quay.

The berth will be supported by 17 hectares of yard space that will have an annual handling capacity of 800,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units(TEU) and will be equipped with a total of 16 cranes.

"India is one of our most important markets and we are committed to supporting its growth over the longterm," said Mohammed Sharaf, the chief executive.

"We currently operate five Indian terminals at Chennai, Mundra, Nhava Sheva [in Mumbai], Visakhapatnam and Cochin, and our Asia-Pacific and Indian subcontinent region was the main driver of our volume growth in the first six months of 2012, reporting a 12.1 per cent increase in volumes to 13.3 million TEU.

"Timely capacity on the west coast of India is critical to our country's economic growth," said Anil Singh, the senior vice president and managing director for DP World'sIndian subcontinent operations. "JNPT is India's largest trade gateway and additional port capacity will ease the congestion concerns of the shipping community."

DP World, the world's third-biggest container terminal operator, has said it intends to spend an estimated $3.7 billionby 2015 on infrastructure development.

"The developments include mega projects like London Gateway, Rotterdam Gateway, and terminal 2 and 3 at Jebel Ali," said Rashid Abdulla, the senior vice-president for global operations.

The terminal 3 project at Jebel Ali is slated for a capacity of 4 million TEU. The expansion of terminal 2 will add a further 1 million TEU. Terminal 2 is scheduled to open in the first half of next year, with terminal 3 following in 2014.

Total capacity at the port is expected to reach 19 million TEU by 2014.

The developments will allow Jebel Ali to handle some of the largest vessels in the world. DP World handled 6.6 million containers in the first six months of the year at Jebel Ali, about 7.3 per cent more than the same period last year.

The company is also expected to begin construction work soon on the Yarimca terminal in Turkey. The terminal, to be fully owned by DP World, will be built near Istanbul with a capacity of 1.3 million TEU.

London Gateway will add 2 million TEU capacity by the fourth quarter of next year. Rotterdam Gateway, which is under construction, will be ready by 2014-15.

DP World currently has a net debt of $3.5bn, according to its half-year earnings report released in August.

dblack@thenational.ae

Published: November 2, 2012 04:00 AM

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