Global terminal operator DP World refuted a report Friday it was weighing plans to exit its container terminal concession at the Port of Mundra, India’s largest privately-developed cargo hub on the west coast.
“This report has no basis in fact,” said Anil Singh, senior vice president and managing director of DP World Subcontinent.
“Far from exiting Mundra, our Mundra International Container Terminal facility has in fact added two new services to Europe over the last year and has grown its intermodal rail services into the north-central region, further underlining its business potential as well as DP World’s commitment to the Indian market.”
The statement came in response to a report in Indian newspaper Financial Express on Thursday that “the exit would bring to an end the bitter relationship between port owner Adani Group and DP World that saw an extended court battle.”
The newspaper also reported, citing unidentified sources, that DP World officials had held negotiations with Adani for an out-of-court settlement.
Dubai-based DP World took ownership of MICT through its global acquisition of UK’s P&O Ports in 2006, but local port governing authority Gujarat Maritime Board ruled that the transfer of concession was illegal without prior regulatory approvals. The dispute triggered a string of court litigations with Adani threatening to cancel the concession for violation of contract conditions.
Mundra, an all-weather, deep-water port with two container facilities, has in recent years emerged as an alternative gateway to India’s vast northwestern hinterland region in the face of growing capacity constraints and other infrastructure issues at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Nhava Sheva).
DP World is the largest private terminal operator in India with five box facilities, including Nhava Sheva, Chennai, Cochin and Visakhapatnam. It recently won a contract to build another terminal at Nhava Sheva of 800,000 20-foot-equivalent units annual capacity.