India’s west coast will soon see the development of a $510 mn-worth mega container terminal as DP World and Deendayal Port Authority recently inked a concession agreement.
Under the deal, Hindustan Infralog Private Limited, the joint venture between the Dubai government-owned logistics company and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), India’s collaborative investment platform, will build, operate, and maintain the said terminal. It will be located in Tuna-Tekra near Deendayal Port in the Indian state of Gujarat. Moreover, it will be capable of accommodating 2.19 mn TEU per year.
The concession will be on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis for a period of 30 years. It can further be extended to 20 years.
S. K. Mehta, chairman of Deendayal Port Authority, and Rizwan Soomar, chief executive officer and managing director of DP World – India Subcontinent, Middle East and North Africa, signed the deal.
Making India an ‘exports hub’
The container terminal will be completed in 2027. It will abide by India’s green port guidelines and will have state-of-the-art facilities. It will also include a 1,100-meter berth to accommodate vessels carrying over 18,000 TEUs.
The terminal’s reach will extend through a network of roads, highways, railways, and Dedicated Freight Corridors. This extensive network is poised to cater to the demand for logistics solutions across Northern, Western, and Central India.
According to Sarbananda Sonowal, India’s minister of ports, shipping and waterways, the project “aligns with Honourable Prime Minister’s Amrit Kaal Vision 2047 and would quadruple port handling capacity and develop multimodal logistics infrastructure to promote economic growth.”
“Once operational, the terminal will play an important role in the government’s ambitious vision to make India an ‘Exports Hub’ as also support the creation of direct and indirect employment in various sectors such as transportation, distribution and supply chain,” he further stated.
The project will also expand DP World’s operations in India. Currently, it operates five container terminals, including two in Mumba and one each in Chennai, Cochin, and Mundra. These have a cumulative capacity of around 6 mn TEUs. Once built, the Tuna Tekra-located mega container port will increase the combined capacity to 8.19 mn TEUs.
India-UAE trade growth
India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been sharing trade relations in the past decades. Their ties further deepened with the implementation of the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in May last year.
This landmark agreement entails the removal of tariffs on more than 10,000 products and services over the next decade.
The two countries saw a 14 percent increase in their non-oil trade from July to August 2022, a few months after CEPA came into effect. According to recent figures, two-way trade between the two nations also hit a new high. It soared by 23 percent to hit $85 bn in 2022.
DP World had previously underscored that Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone, a free trade zone it owns, will play a vital role in boosting India-UAE non-oil trade to $100 bn by 2027.
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