DP World, the Dubai Government-owned port company, will make an equity investment of Rs 440 crore in the recently awarded container terminal project at Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has cleared the investment proposal of Hindustan Ports Pvt Ltd, a company newly constituted in India by DP World, to implement the project.

The cost of the project — a 330-metre berth — originally estimated at Rs 600 crore, is expected to exceed Rs 900 crore, according to an official earlier associated with the project.

The berth will have the capacity to handle eight lakh TEUs per annum, which could be augmented to one million TEUs, with better equipment and deeper draught.

DP World, the lone bidder, was awarded the project after agreeing to share 29.09 per cent revenue with the landlord port. The concession agreement is expected to be signed by end of this month. The bidder hopes to complete the project in less than two years. This will be the second project of DP World at JN port.

The company already owns and operates a container terminal — Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal at the port. DP World, reportedly looking at restructuring its operations in India, may bring all its local assets under one company — Hindustan Ports. The company owns four container terminals in India — NSICT at JN port, Mundra in Gujarat, Chennai terminal and Vallarpadam Transhipment Terminal at Kochi.

However, the restructuring of assets under a holding company requires approval from various Ministries. It is feared that delay in getting the approval could also force the company to defer signing the concession agreement.

kurup.nk@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 23, 2013)
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