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DP World denies rumors of Kochi project pull-out

DP World denies rumors it is considering abandoning its Kochi project due to under performance of Vallarpadam container terminal.
DP World denies rumors it is considering abandoning its Kochi project due to under performance of Vallarpadam container terminal.
DP World denies rumors it is considering abandoning its Kochi project due to under performance of Vallarpadam container terminal.

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Dubai Ports World, the holding company of India Gateway Terminals Limited which operates the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal, has denied media reports that it is considering abandoning its Kochi project.

“DP World is a responsible, dynamic organisation committed to our Indian operations,” said senior vice-president and managing director, sub-continent, Anil Singh.

“There has been media speculation about our growth and operations. We work consistently at fostering growth and do not comment on or encourage such speculation,” he added.

The statement comes as Singh moved to defend Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal, which many politicians have accused of being an under-performing terminal.

Singh told Indian media that contrary to public perception, the terminal was doing exceedingly well, with plans to undertake the second phase of its expansion in 1-2 years.

In a telephone interview with ‘Express’, Singh compared DP World’s Vallarpadam terminal to its Mundra International Container Terminal (MICT).

MICT, he said, handled just 5,000 teu in its first year and now handles one million teu at near full capacity, achieved over a period of 10 years.

In comparison, Vallarpadam Terminal, which is only into the second year of concessional agreement, is handling over 350,000 teu. “This year we are confident of achieving 450,000 teu,” he said.

The terminal currently has a total capacity of 900,000-tue, Singh said, with plans to begin the second phase of expansion when cargo traffic reached 700,000-tue.

Cochin Port Trust also said in a statement that DP World had not offered to quit its business in Kochi. DP World and the India government have invested a total of US $400-million in the terminal.

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