Dubai’s DP World teams up with India’s sovereign infra fund

The partnership will see the Gulf-based port operator invest a further $1bn in the country’s infrastructure as it expands its $1.2bn Indian portfolio.

DP World has agreed to partner with India’s sovereign infrastructure vehicle, the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, to deploy $1 billion into logistics infrastructure in the South Asian country.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding, DP World will aim to support the Sagarmala project, a government-led scheme to modernise major ports and develop at least six mega-ports in the country, as well as create the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

It will also invest in river transportation, cold chain storage, port-led special economic zones, free-trade zones, internal container depots and cruise terminals. 

The agreement will provide a fillip to the Modi administration as it forges ahead with its “Make in India” and “Invest India” campaigns by encouraging foreign direct investment and funding for projects, the Dubai-based company said. 

“One of the key priorities of the Indian government is to prevent the loss of agricultural produce. This can be managed through adequate marine and warehousing infrastructure including cold storage as well as development of inland waterways, reducing logistics costs at the same time,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayen, chief executive and chairman of DP World. “The NIIF plays a crucial role in financing India’s infrastructure and we welcome their approach to encouraging development in the sector.”

DP World said that it is the only foreign port operator in India with six port concessions and a market share of about 30 percent. Its total commitment to Indian logistics stood at $1.2 billion as of February 2016. 

In 2016, the company handled around 64 million TEU, or twenty-foot equivalent units, across its portfolio of 78 operating marine and inland terminals globally. Endowed with a solid pipeline of developments and expansions, the port expects its gross capacity to rise from 84.6 million TEU currently to more than 100 million TEU by 2020.