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Adani Group becomes the first Indian port operator in Sri Lanka

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The Adani Group becomes the first Indian port operator in Sri Lanka as construction of the western container terminal of the port of Colombo (WCT) will start on Wednesday.



The group will have a majority stake in the West Container International Terminal Joint Venture (JV), which is valued at $700 million.

The build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement, which will be valid for 35 years, is said to be the “largest” foreign investment ever in Sri Lanka’s port history.

The state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority will hold 15 percent, while the local company John Keells will own a 34 percent stake in the joint project.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed with India and Japan on the development of the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) in 2019, was withdrawn after protests from Sri Lankan unions and some political parties.

However, in March 2021, the Sri Lankan cabinet approved the development of the WCT through a public-private partnership (PPP) in conjunction with the SLPA and investors nominated by the Indian and Japanese governments.

According to reports, after commissioning, the terminal will increase the capacity of the Port of Colombo to three million TEU per year.

The reports further said that nearly 45 percent of Colombo’s throughput volumes start or are destined for a terminal of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) in India.

Construction of the WCT is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

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