- Partner JKH and SLPA to develop WCT on Build, Operate and Transfer basis for 35 years
- Adani Ports will hold 51% in the terminal partnership and WCT will be developed to reach 3.5mn TEUs capacity
- With quay length of 1,400 metres and depth of 20 metres, WCT set to become prime destination for transhipment cargo to handle ultra large container carriers
- Partnership expected to further enhance multi-dimensional strategic relationship between India and Sri Lanka
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones (APSEZ) Ltd., India’s largest private ports & logistics company and a key subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group yesterday said it has received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and Sri Lanka Ports Authority, acting on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, pursuant to approval from the Sri Lankan Cabinet of Ministers for the development and operations of the West Container Terminal (WCT) of Port of Colombo.
According to a statement issued by the Adani Group, APSEZ will partner with John Keells Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerate and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) as a part of the consortium.
The WCT will be developed on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis for a period of 35 years as a public-private partnership. Adani, becoming the first-ever Indian port operator in Sri Lanka, is expected to hold 51 percent in the terminal partnership and WCT will be developed to reach a capacity of 3.5 million TEUs.
WCT will have a quay length of 1400 metres and alongside depth of 20 metres, thereby making it a prime transhipment cargo destination to handle ultra large container carriers.
The project is expected to boost WCT’s container handling capacity and further consolidate Sri Lanka’s locational advantage as one of the world’s top strategic nodes along the busiest global transhipment route.
The Colombo Port is already the most preferred regional hub for transhipment of Indian containers and mainline ship operators with 45 percent of Colombo’s transhipment volumes either originating from or destined to an Adani port terminal in India.
The network impact of this partnership is significant and expected to be mutually beneficial 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 TEUs.
This partnership is expected to multiply and accelerate the transhipment options that will become available to serve various shipping lines and other potential port customers across the South Asian waters, benefiting both, India and Sri Lanka in multiple ways.
“Any port partnership is a validation of mutual trust between two nations and in this context the WCT partnership is significant on several fronts. It is a continuation of the deep and mutually beneficial strategic relationship between two neighbouring nations whose history is deeply intertwined, and I am grateful to the leaders of the Government of India, leaders of the Government of Sri Lanka and our Sri Lankan partners for the deep trust they have endowed on us,” Karan Adani, CEO and Whole Time Director of APSEZ, said.
“The combination of the strategic location of the Port of Colombo as a launching point for transshipment across the entire subcontinent, the deep domestic strength of SLPA and John Keells Holdings PLC, and the Adani Group’s unmatched network of container terminals across the Indian coastline opens up several dimensions of growth possibilities for years to come, not just within our two countries but also to the East as well as the West of our two nations,” he added.
Commenting on the occasion, JKH Chairman Krishan Balendra said, “We are excited about this opportunity to invest in the much-needed capacity expansion of the Colombo Port and to partner the Adani Group, the leading port operator in India.”
He went on to say that the public private partnership development of the WCT would bring to bear the synergies, expertise and experience of the Adani Group, the John Keells Group and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, which would ensure a world class deep-water offering in the Port of Colombo, catering to the largest container ships afloat.