Adani Ports-led consortium gets LoI from Sri Lanka govt to build West Container Terminal at Colombo Port

Shipping Port | Representative Image. (PC-AFP)

Shipping Port | Representative Image. (PC-AFP)

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) on March 15 announced that it has received a Letter of Intent (LoI) from the Ministry of Ports and Shipping of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for the development and operations of West Container Terminal (WCT) in Colombo.

For this project, APSEZ will partner with John Keells Holdings PLC and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) as a part of the consortium awarded this mandate. APSEZ has been awarded the LoI to develop WCT in a build, operate and transfer basis for a period of 35 years as a public-private partnership, the firm said in a regulatory filing.

Adani Ports acquires 31.5% stake in Gangavaram Port for Rs 1,954 crore

“WCT will have a quay length of 1400 meters and alongside depth of 20 meters, thereby making it a prime transhipment cargo destination to handle Ultra Large Container Carriers,” APSEZ said in a statement.

Through the WCT, the Sri Lankan government is expecting 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 firm said that Colombo Port is already the most preferred regional hub for transhipment of Indian containers and mainline ship operators, whose 45 percent transhipment volumes either originating from or destined to an

Adani port terminal in India.

“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 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,” APSEZ CEO and Whole Time Director Karan Adani 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 (JKH) 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.

Among other things, Adani Ports informed that this partnership is expected to be 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.

Commenting on the latest development, JKH chairman Krishan Balendra said that the PPP 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.

With this LoI, Adani Ports will hold 51 percent in the terminal

partnership and WCT will be developed to reach a capacity of 3.5 million TEUs.

Earlier on March 3, APSEZ, a key subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group, informed that they are acquiring 31.5 percent stake held by Windy Lakeside Investment – an affiliate of Warburg Pincus – in Gangavaram Port (GPL). The acquisition is valued at Rs 1,954 crore and subject to regulatory approvals.

As per the finalised agreement, Adani Ports would be acquiring 16.3 crore shares of Warburg Pincus in GPL, at a price of Rs 120 each, said an official press release.

With the completion of this deal, APSEZ, a key subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group, has expanded its market share to above 30 percent at 12 locations across India.