DP World launches South American port

DP World has opened the most modern container port terminal on South America's Pacific coast.

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DP World, the Dubai Government-owned ports operator, has opened the most modern container port terminal on South America's Pacific coast. The development, at Callao in Peru, was declared open by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the chairman of DP World, and the Peruvian president Alan Garcia Perez. The Dubai group is believed to have invested US$700 million (Dh2.57 billion) in the development, which was started in 2006 and opened ahead of schedule.

It is DP World's fourth terminal in the Americas, while another is planned at Santos, Brazil, bringing its global network to 51 ports and 10 under development. "We are pleased and proud that DP World Callao has joined DP World's global network and look forward to its bright future," Mr bin Sulayem said. "We believe Peru to be exemplary in economic and political stability in South America. It is also the ideal entry point for the west coast of South America, which is a dynamic economy with a large cargo market and strong trade growth."

DP World pulled out of the ports business in the US after political criticism of its takeover of P&O in 2006, but kept other P&O ports in South America and Canada. DP World Callao has an operating annual capacity of about 850,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) and covers 225,000 square metres. Its two berths, each 350 metres long with 16-metre drafts, are capable of handling two Post-Panamax vessels carrying about 8,000 TEUs at the same time.

The terminal has six Super Post-Panamax giant gantry cranes, 18 rubber-tyred gantry cranes and state-of-the-art information technology. "DP World helps create opportunities for the communities and economies in which it operates," said Mohammed Sharaf, the chief executive of DP World. Some industry experts see Callao as a potential rival to Panama, the biggest commercial hub in South America.