DP World opens hi-tech terminal in India
Kochi (India), February 13, 2011
Dubai-based DP World, one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, has announced the launch of its new terminal at Vallarpadam in the south Indian state of Kerala.
The new terminal is a public-private partnership (PPP) between DP World and the Government of India, with Container Corporation of India (Concor), Transworld and Chakiat also strategic partners in the venture.
Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh unveiled the DP World Cochin, the first-ever dedicated transhipment and gateway hub in India, during an official ceremony on Saturday, said a statement from DP World.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai was represented by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, deputy chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, Mohammad Ibrahim Al Shaibani, director general of the Dubai Ruler’s Court and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World also attended the event.
More than 5,000 customers, officials and dignitaries marked the auspicious occasion.
Dr Singh had together with Bin Sulayem laid the foundation stone for the Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) in February 2005, and in today’s ceremony, the Prime Minister dedicated the new terminal to the Indian nation.
The largest single operator container terminal in the country, ICTT, to be operated as DP World Cochin, was built at a cost of more than $600 million, the statement added.
With the launch of the facility, container handling will move entirely to DP World Cochin from nearby Rajiv Gandhi Terminal in coming weeks. The older unit may be converted by Cochin Port Trust to handle greater volumes of non-containerised bulk cargo.
According to Bin Sulayem, the DP World Cochin will be completed in three phases.
In the first phase, the 600-metre-long quay with a draught of around 14.5 metres will be able to simultaneously serve several of the world’s largest container ships - those with a nominal capacity of around 10,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) - with capacity to handle one million TEUs annually.
Capacity will expand in line with market demand, increasing to around 1.5 million TEUs in the second phase; once fully commissioned, capacity will be around 4 million TEUs, he added.
"The Government of India, in a true PPP approach, has also constructed and enhanced supporting infrastructure such as the construction of a four lane national highway connecting the terminal to the rest of India," the official said.
"A new 8 kilometre long electrified rail link will also allow 15 trains to serve the terminal daily, connecting customers directly with India’s national rail network," he noted.
“We are extremely honoured that Dr Singh has opened our newest terminal and thank him sincerely for marking both the start of the project with the laying of the foundation stone and the completion of it with the ceremony here today."
"The opening this morning is testament to his vision, and making that vision a reality. We are pleased and proud to add Vallarpadam to our global portfolio."
This world class facility will significantly reduce both time and costs for India’s importers and exporters, improving their competitiveness and contributing to the further development of India’s vibrant economy, he remarked.
Mohammed Sharaf, chief executive officer, DP World said: "Today’s opening of India’s first transhipment terminal and gateway hub is an historic event."
"DP World Cochin offers customers world class, reliable, value added services with excellent road and rail connectivity for greater efficiency, helping them to get their goods faster to market at competitive prices. The terminal’s services and state of the art facilities provide an outstanding option for shipping lines looking to tranship in the region," he added.
Anil Singh, senior vice president and managing director, DP World Subcontinent, said: “We look forward to serving our customers at DP World Cochin. Container trade in India has been growing year on year by 15 per cent, and the development of a transhipment and gateway hub within the country we believe will contribute to further growth."
"There is considerable potential to expand the terminal over time, and we will grow as our customers grow," he added.
DP World also operates terminals in Mundra, Nhava Sheva, Chennai and Vishakapatnam, and is also developing a new terminal facility in West Bengal.-TradeArabia News Service
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