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

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

The concession agreement was signed between S.K. Mehta, chairman, Deendayal Port Authority, and Rizwan Soomar, managing director (MD) and CEO, India Subcontinent, the Middle East and North Africa, DP World, in the presence of Sarbananda Sonowal, 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 the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) – India’s collaborative investment platform an­chored by the Government of India – by the Deendayal Port Authority in January 2023. The terminal will be developed on a build-operate-transfer model for a period of 30 years, with an option for a further extension of 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 (approximately $510 million) through a public-private partnership (PPP). The terminal will feature state-of-the-art equipment and an annual capacity of 2.19 million TEUs. It will also include a 1,100 metre berth capable of handling next-generation vessels carrying over 18,000 TEUs. The terminal is scheduled for completion in February 2027.

According to Sonowal, “The signing of the concession agreement between the 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 on the PPP model. The project aligns with our prime minister’s Amrit Kaal Vision, 2047. It will 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 transform India into an “exports hub” and will also support the creation of direct and indirect employment in various sectors such as transportation, distribution and supply chain.”

S.K. Mehta, commented, “We are delighted to partner with DP World in developing one of our pathbreaking projects at 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. Indian Railways have recently approved the quadrupling of the Samakhiali-Gandhidham line, which will be a big boost for the upcoming container terminal at Tuna-Tekra. In addition, we are in discussions with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Indian Railways to implement various other initiatives to enhance the connectivity of Kandla and Tuna-Tekra.”

His Excellency Sultan Ahmed Bin Sula­yem added, “We are honoured to partner with the 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 NIIF to leverage DP World’s expertise in logistics infrastr­ucture and local knowledge to further str­en­gthen India’s supply chain and support the growth of trade and industry.”

Rajiv Dhar, CEO and MD, NIIF, added, “We are excited to collaborate with the Deendayal Port Authority and DP World to develop one of the largest greenfield infrastructure projects in India’s port 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.”