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OPERATION, DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS

UAE's Gulftainer wins 50-year concession for US port

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2018

UAE-based Gulftainer, the largest privately-owned independent port operator in the world, has announced that its subsidiary GT USA has inked a deal on terms with Delaware, US, which would grant it exclusive rights to operate and develop the Port of Wilmington for 50 years. 
 
Terms of the agreement are to be formally approved by Diamond State Port Corporation Board and the Delaware General Assembly within the next month, followed by the formal review by the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). 
 
The new agreement provides Gulftainer access to one of the most strategically located marine ports in the US, situated only a four-hour voyage from the Atlantic Ocean, said a statement from Sharjah-based company. 
 
GT USA’s concession includes the full management and development of the Port’s existing container volumes of 350,000 TEUs per year, which is forecasted to more than double in the years to come as a consequence of this deal.
 
Notably, Wilmington Port, which started operations in 1923 as the first major port on the Delaware River, is the top North American port for imports of fresh fruit into the US, and has the largest dockside cold storage facility in the Country.
 
Over the next nine years, Gulftainer is planning to invest $580 million in the port, including approximately $410 million for a new 1.2 million TEU container facility at DuPont’s former Edgemoor site, which was acquired by the Diamond State Port Corporation in 2016. 
 
During this period, the company will fully develop all the cargo terminals capabilities and enhance the overall productivity of the port.
 
The landmark agreement on terms follows over a year of negotiations and an evaluation of Gulftainer’s capabilities globally, including in the US. Within the States, the Emirati company currently operates the Canaveral Cargo Terminal in Port Canaveral, Florida, after winning a 35-year concession in 2015. 
 
As part of these operations, the company has also been providing services to the US Space Industry, including contracts with SpaceX and Blue Origin. 
 
John Carney, Governor of Delaware, said: "With Gulftainer’s proposal, we have an opportunity to develop the overall infrastructure and potential of the port, which can lead to a direct and significant impact on our economy as a whole."
 
"We hope to see significant impact to the state’s revenue stream with the planned injection of $580 million investment into the cargo facilities within the city of Wilmington. This massive infrastructure upgrade will have a knock-on effect to the logistics sector of the entire East coast," remarked Carney.
 
"It is also exciting to see that Gulftainer’s proposal included a plan to establish a Marine training institute to boost local career aspirations in maritime industry and port operations," he added.
 
Badr Jafar, the chief executive of Crescent Enterprises and chairman of Gulftainer’s Executive Board, said: "We look forward to be given the opportunity to work closely with the State of Delaware authorities to achieve significant enhancement across the board, from infrastructure development and capacity building to creating a sustainable source of employment and overall economic growth."
 
"We are keen to position Wilmington as the major gateway port to the US Mid-Atlantic states, he stated.
 
GT USA will also establish a training facility at the development site specifically for the Ports and Logistics industries that is expected to train approximately 1,000 people every year.
 
Jeffrey W. Bullock, the secretary of State of Delaware, said: "We expect to leverage Gulftainer’s strategic expertise in terminal operations to transform the Port of Wilmington, during the 50-year lease period, into the best facility of its kind in the region."
 
Gulftainer Group CEO Peter Richards said: "At Gulftainer, we see enormous opportunity to add value to the port infrastructure in the US and are excited to expand our operations within the country. The Port of Wilmington has for decades handled important gateway cargo that supplies the entire nation."
 
"Our plan is to build on this foundation and take the operations to new heights by working closely with each of the stakeholders within its ecosystem. With projected volume growth more than doubling in under a decade, doubling the revenue to Delaware state, a brand-new terminal at Edgemoor and a possibility to create around 12,000 jobs, this project is likely to become one of the biggest success stories in the US ports sector," he added.-TradeArabiaNews Service



Tags: Sharjah | Gulftainer | Delaware |

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