Adani to own, operate 51pc of Colombo's West Container Terminal.
INDIA's Adani Group has extended its port-terminal investment ambitions to Sri Lanka with an agreement to build and operate Colombo's West Container Terminal (WCT), a third facility under the South Harbour development programme, reports IHS Media
31 March 2021 - 19:00
Ahmedabad-based Adani, 524 kilometres north of Mumbai, will hold a 51 per cent controlling interest in the new terminal venture, with the remainder split between its local partner John Keells Holdings and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) in a yet-to-be-announced structure.
The deal is said to be a government-to-government deal after a May 2019 cooperation pact offering New Delhi the right to manage Colombo's long-stalled East Container Terminal hit a roadblock over labour pushback against privatisation.
Under a 35-year operating concession, WCT is designed to provide a total quay length of 1,400 metres, a 20-metre alongside draft, and a capacity of 3.5 million TEU annually, which Adani noted will be a prime attraction for ultra-large container ship operators.
'The network impact of this partnership is significant and expected to be mutually benefited from the string of seven container terminals across its 12 ports that Adani operates along the Indian coastline, handling an annual volume of over 6 million TEU,' the company said in a statement.
Adani already commands 30 per cent of India's total port capacity, with Mundra Port being its top bet on the container side. Powered by strategic terminal partnerships with CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), Mundra has seen strong transshipment gains in recent years, which in 2020 stood at 1.14 million TEU, versus some 870,000 TEU in 2019.
Adani's entry into Colombo comes at a time when India is working to tighten foreign transshipping trends that it believes act as a drag on efforts to lower logistics costs. The enactment of a liberalized cabotage policy in May 2018 aimed at encouraging more direct port calls mirrors that intent.
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