Adani Ports to hold 51% stake in WCT development 

Adani Ports And Special Economic Zone Ltd. will partner with John Keells Holdings Plc. and Sri Lankan Port Authority to develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) in which Adani Ports will hold 51% of stake, a statement issued by the company said on Monday.

“APSEZ… a key subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group, received a Letter of Intent from the Ministry of Ports and Shipping of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, acting on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, pursuant to approval from the Sri Lankan Cabinet of Ministers for the development and operations of WCT in Colombo, Sri Lanka,” the company said.

According to Bloomberg Quint, the first-ever Indian port operator in Sri Lanka, Adani Ports will hold 51% in the terminal partnership and WCT will be developed to reach a capacity of 3.5 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).

The Colombo port is one of the most preferred regional hubs for transhipment of Indian containers and mainline ship operators with 45% of Colombo’s transhipment volumes originating from or destined to an APSEZ terminal in India, APSEZ said.

“The WCT will be developed on a build, operate and transfer basis for a period of 35 years as a public-private partnership. WCT will have a quay length of 1,400 meters and alongside depth of 20 meters, thereby making it a prime transhipment cargo destination to handle ultra-large container carriers,” the statement said.

Adani Ports was to earlier develop the East Container Terminal at the Sri Lanka Port. That deal ran into local union trouble prompting the Sri Lanka government to pull out.

The West Container Terminal deal is expected to 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, the statement said.

Karan Adani, chief executive officer and whole time director of APSEZ, said 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.

“… the combination of the strategic location of the Port of Colombo as a launching point for transhipment across the entire subcontinent, the deep domestic strength of SLPA and John Keells Holdings Plc., and Adani Group’s unmatched network of container terminals across the Indian coastline open 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 said.

John Keells Holdings Plc.’s Chairman Krishan Balendra said, “we are excited about this opportunity to invest in the much-needed capacity expansion of the Colombo port and to partner the Adani Group, the leading port operator in India”.

APSEZ is the largest port developer and operator in India and represents 24% of the country’s total port capacity.