India Dispatch: DP World, the Dubai-based ports operator, yesterday signed an agreement that allows it to go ahead with a US$200 million project to expand the capacity of one of India's biggest ports.
DP World signs India port expansion pact
The Dubai-based ports operator is to build and operate a container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Navi Mumbai, where the company already operates a terminal.
"With a 17-year concession period, we are investing for the long term," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the chairman of DP World, who attended the signing ceremony in New Delhi yesterday.
The agreement was signed through a subsidiary of DP World, Nhava Sheva Gateway Terminal. The award of the contract was announced last November.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port is India's largest container port, handling 64.50 million tonnes of cargo during the financial year that ran to the end of March.
"The new 330-metre berth with 27 hectares of yard will add 800,000 TEUs [standard container units] of container capacity and help ease congestion at Jawaharlal Nehru Port," DP World said.
The company is the biggest container terminal operator in India, having moved to capitalise on the country's economic and trade growth of recent years.
DP World operates five Indian container ports, including facilities in Gujarat, Chennai and Kerala, as well as a train service for cargo. It has invested more than $1 billion in India.
Separately, DP World yesterday announced that it had extended the maturity date on a $1bn revolving credit facility to the second quarter of 2018 from the second quarter of 2017 at more attractive market terms.
"The facility provides DP World with flexibility to manage cash flow and investment in its portfolio," DP World said. "Plans to utilise the facility remain unchanged."
The company has said that it plans to spend close to $3bn this year and next on expanding terminal capacity. DP World's profits rose 21 per cent last year to $555m, up from $459m the previous year, after it made $249m from asset sales in Australia, Europe and the Middle East.