Adani Ports bolsters global footprint with Colombo container terminal

Adani Group subsidiary Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Ltd (APSEZ) has bagged the contract to develop and operate West the Container Terminal (WCT) in Colombo, making it the first Indian port operator in Sri Lanka.

The company has received a Letter of Intent from Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Ports and Shipping and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) for setting up the container terminal on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis for a period of 35 years on a public-private partnership basis.

APSEZ will partner with John Keells Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerate, and with the SLPA, as a part of the consortium awarded this mandate. WCT will have a quay length of 1,400 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 per cent 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 benefitted 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, APSEZ said in a statement.

The 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, the statement added.

Karan Adani, CEO 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. It is a continuation of the deep and mutually beneficial strategic relationship between two neighbouring nations.”

“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.”