olombo [Sri Lanka]/Ahmedabad [India], March 15 (ANI): Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Ltd (APSEZ), a key subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group, has received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from Sri Lankan authorities for development and operations of West Container Terminal (WCT) in Colombo.
APSEZ will partner with John Keells Holdings PLC, Sri Lanka's largest diversified conglomerate, and with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) as a part of the consortium awarded this mandate.
An APSEZ release said 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 1400 meters and alongside a depth of 20 meters, thereby making it a prime transhipment cargo destination to handle Ultra Large Container Carriers.
"Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Ltd.(APSEZ) India's largest private Ports and Logistics company and 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 LankaPorts 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 West Container Terminal (WCT) in Colombo, Sri Lanka," the release said.
It 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 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 release said that the network impact of this partnership is significant and expected to be mutually benefitted from the string of 7 container terminals across its 12 ports that Adani operates along the Indian coastline handling an annual volume of over 6 million TEUs.
"The 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," the release said.
Speaking on the occasion, Karan Adani, CEO and Whole Time Director of APSEZ said, any port partnership is a validation of the mutual trust between two nations.
"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," he said.
"The combination of the strategic location of the Port of Colombo as a launching point for transhipment 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.
Krishan Balendra, Chairman of JKH, 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 added that the Public-Private Partnership development of the West Container Terminal 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.
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), a part Adani Group has evolved from a port company to Ports and Logistics Platform for India.
It is the largest port developer and operator in India with 11 strategically located ports and terminals -- Mundra, Dahej, Tuna and Hazira in Gujarat, Dhamra in Odisha, Mormugao in Goa, Visakhapatnamand Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Dighi in Maharashtra and Kattupalli and Ennore in Tamil Nadu -- represent 24 per cent of the country's total port capacity, handling vast amounts of cargo from both coastal areas and the vast hinterland, the release said. (ANI)