The Western Container Terminal (WCT) in the Colombo Port is slated to begin construction on Wednesday, making The Adani Group the country’s first Indian port operator there.
In the $700 million joint venture (JV) for the West Container International Terminal, the group will own a majority interest.
According to reports, the build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement is the “biggest” foreign investment in Sri Lanka’s port history and will last for 35 years.
The jointly developed project will be owned by the government-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority to the tune of 15% and local business John Keells to the tune of 34%.
Following the protest by Sri Lankan labour unions and some political parties, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with India and Japan on the development of the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) in 2019 was revoked.
In contrast, the Sri Lankan Cabinet approved the development of the WCT through a public-private partnership (PPP) in March 2021, working with the SLPA and investors chosen by the governments of India and Japan.
According to sources, the terminal is anticipated to boost the Colombo Port’s capacity to three million TEU annually once operations get underway.
The reports further stated that an Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) terminal in India is the origin or destination of roughly 45% of Colombo’s trans-shipment traffic.
Completion of construction of the WCT is scheduled by 2024.