Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) Whole Time Director and CEO, Karan Adani, has announced that the initial phase of the Colombo West International Terminal (CWIT) is expected to become operational by December 2024.
The project, which is a collaboration between India’s leading port operator Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd, Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings (JKH), and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, has managed to secure USD 553 million in financing from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
During a conference call, Adani shared details about the progress, stating, “On the Colombo port, we expect commissioning and operationalizing of Phase 1 by December of 2024. Now, we have already given our… capex guidance.” Adani highlighted the joint venture structure with 51% ownership by Adani Ports and 49% shared between SLPA and John Keells.
The DFC, as the US government’s development finance institution, will contribute to the development of a deepwater shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo. The port, being the largest transshipment hub in the Indian Ocean, has been operating at over 90% capacity since 2021, necessitating additional capacity.
Regarding the Tajpur port in West Bengal, Adani mentioned awaiting the letter of award. Once received, a timeline of 18 to 24 months is anticipated for construction, involving environmental clearance and groundwork. Located in the Purba Medinipur district, the Tajpur port will have a deep draft of 12.1 meters, accommodating large capesize ships.
Adani also discussed the company’s international strategy, expressing a continuous evaluation of opportunities in high-growth countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh, Eastern Africa, and parts of the Middle East. He emphasized the significance of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) as a strategic move that benefits both Haifa and Indian ports by providing an alternative route to the Suez Canal.