DP World signs concession to develop Tuna-Tekra mega-container terminal in India

DP World, a leading global provider of smart end-to-end logistics, signed the concession agreement on August 25, 2023 with the Deendayal Port Authority to develop, operate and maintain a new 2.19 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) per annum mega-container terminal at Kandla in Gujarat on India’s western coast.

The concession agreement was signed between S. K. Mehta, chairman of Deendayal Port Authority and Rizwan Soomar, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO), India Subcontinent, Middle East and North Africa, DP World, in the presence of Sarbananda Sonowal, honourable Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, His Excellency Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, Shantanu Thakur, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, along with other dignitaries in New Delhi.

The concession to develop the mega-container terminal at Tuna-Tekra was awarded to Hindustan Infralog Private Limited (a joint venture between DP World and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, India’s collaborative investment platform anchored by the Government of India) in January 2023 by the Deendayal Port Authority, under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model for a period of 30 years with an extension option of further 20 years.

The project involves the construction of a mega-container terminal at Tuna-Tekra near the existing Deendayal Port, at a cost of Rs 42.47 billion (~$510 million) through a public private partnership (PPP). Once complete in February 2027, the terminal will have state of the art equipment and annual capacity of 2.19 million TEUs and will include a 1,100 m berth capable of handling next-generation vessels carrying more than 18,000 TEUs. As part of this concession agreement the berth can be further extended to 1,375 m.

It will connect to the hinterland through the network of roads, highways, railways and dedicated freight corridors, supporting the growing demand for logistics solutions from across Northern, Western and Central India, connecting businesses in the regions to global markets.

The project is part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline and will complement initiatives of the Government of India, such as the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan and National Logistics Policy. The container terminal will be fully compliant with the green port guidelines ensuring sustainability in port operations by adopting best practices of port environment management contributing towards the long-term sustainability goals set out by the Government of India.

Speaking on the occasion, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “The signing of the concession agreement between Deendayal Port Authority and DP World is a momentous event indeed as it marks yet another significant breakthrough in building best-in-class infrastructure in India under the PPP model. The Project aligns with our Hon’ble 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”.

S.K. Mehta, chairman, Deendayal Port Authority commented, “We are delighted to partner with DP World in developing one of our pathbreaking projects at the Deendayal Port. The Tuna-Tekra mega- terminal will be one of the largest container terminals to be set up in the country. It will help increase the productivity and cargo handling capacity of the port. As one of India’s busiest ports, we are committed to enhancing our capacity to serve the nation and businesses by reducing congestion and driving trade efficiencies. The Indian Railways have recently approved the quadrupling of Samakhiali – Gandhidham line, which will be a big boost for the upcoming container terminal at Tuna Tekra. In addition, we are in discussion to implement various other initiatives to enhance connectivity of Kandla and Tuna Tekra along with Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Indian Railways.”

HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, said, “We are honoured to partner with Deendayal Port Authority in developing this new mega-container terminal at Tuna-Tekra. It will enable DP World to deliver trade opportunities, by connecting Northern, Western and Central India with global markets, thereby driving value for all our stakeholders. India represents a significant landscape for opportunity. The signing of this concession agreement marks another milestone in our collective efforts with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund to leverage DP World’s expertise in logistics infrastructure and local knowledge to further strengthen India’s supply chain to support the growth of trade and industry.”

Rajiv Dhar, CEO and managing director, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, added: “We are excited to collaborate with Deendayal Port Authority and DP World to develop one of the largest greenfield infrastructure projects in India’s ports sector on a PPP basis. This project will create significant value for end-users and help the government achieve its goal of reducing logistics costs for trade. This project is a testament to our ability to drive large-scale infrastructure development by partnering with strategic players.”

DP World currently operates five container terminals in India – two in Mumbai, one each in Mundra, Cochin and Chennai – with a combined capacity of approximately 6 million TEUs. With the addition of Tuna Tekra, DP World will have a combined capacity of 8.19 million TEUs.