India's Adani Ports said it will have a 51% stake in the West Container Terminal (WCT) of the Colombo Port and it had received a letter of intent from Sri Lankan authorities.
Indian media reports claimed that the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) on Monday said it will partner with John Keells Holdings PLC and Sri Lankan Port Authority to develop the WCT.
The Colombo port is one of the most preferred regional hubs for transhipment of Indian containers and mainline ship operators with 45 per cent of Colombo’s transhipment volumes originating from or destined to an APSEZ terminal in India, APSEZ said.
“APSEZ… a key subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group, received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from the Ministry of Ports and Shipping of Sri Lanka and the 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 WCT in Colombo, Sri Lanka,” the company said in a statement.
APSEZ will partner with John Keells Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerate, and with the Sri Lankan Port 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. WCT will have a quay length of 1,400 meters and alongside depth of 20 meters, thereby making it a prime transhipment cargo destination to handle ultra-large container carriers,” the statement said.
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 network impact of this partnership is significant and expected to mutually benefit 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 will 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, it said.
Karan Adani, Chief Executive Officer and Whole Time Director of APSEZ said any port partnership is a validation of the mutual trust between two nations and in this context, the WCT partnership is significant on several fronts.