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DP World expands its reach with mega port on India’s west coast

DP World to operate mega port on India’s west coast

A new port called Tuna will be built in Kandla, Gujarat, on the western coast of India, approximately 15 kilometers away from the existing Deendayal Port (formerly known as Kandla Port). This ambitious project, costing $510 million, is a partnership between the Indian government’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and DP World, through their joint venture, Hindustan Infralog.

Expected to be completed by 2027, the Tuna port will be able to handle 2.19 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of containers annually. It will be equipped with advanced facilities and a 1,100-meter-long berth designed to accommodate next-generation vessels carrying over 18,000 TEU. The concession agreement allows for a potential extension of the berth to 1,375 meters. This partnership is structured as a build-operate-transfer arrangement, initially spanning 30 years with the possibility of extending for an additional 20 years.

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As a crucial part of India’s ongoing infrastructure development efforts, the Tuna port will be well-connected to the inland regions through a network of roads, highways, railways, and dedicated freight corridors. This development aligns with the announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, which is expected to enhance trade between the Indian subcontinent and these regions. The project envisions a trade route starting from Mumbai, connecting to DP World’s Jebel Ali port in the UAE, and extending further into Europe via rail.

Currently, DP World operates five container terminals in India, including two in Mumbai, and one each in Mundra, Cochin, and Chennai, with a combined capacity of around 6 million TEU. With the addition of the Tuna port, DP World’s total capacity in India will increase to 8.19 million TEU.

S.K. Mehta, Chairman of the Deendayal Port Authority, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with DP World, highlighting that the Tuna-Tekra mega-terminal would be one of the largest container terminals in the country. Indian Railways is also expanding the Samakhiali–Gandhidham rail line to enhance connectivity to the Tuna-Terka port, increasing its capacity.

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Mr. Mehta emphasized that this development would boost productivity and cargo-handling capabilities at the port, aiming to reduce congestion and improve trade efficiency. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO and Group Chairman of DP World, noted that this collaboration would connect various regions in India to global markets, creating value for all stakeholders and underscoring India’s significant potential for trade opportunities.

Rajiv Dhar, CEO of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, stated that the project would provide substantial benefits to end-users and support the government’s goal of reducing logistics costs for trade. He also highlighted the partnership’s ability to drive large-scale infrastructure development by working with strategic players.

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