Gulftainer may invest AED11-billion in port expansion by 2023

Gulftainer is looking to expand its container volumes to 11-million TEU in the next five years and is dropping major cash to get there.
Peter Richards, CEO, Gulftainer.
Peter Richards, CEO, Gulftainer.

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Gulftainer plans to invest up to US $3-billion over the next five years, with expansion of GCC and US facilities, and new acquisitions in both regions according to The National.

Peter Richards, CEO of Gulftainer, said that the port operator plans to spend the funds over the five-year timeframe with financing from investors and banks as it seeks to double its container capacity and acquire assets.

“We hope to continue our growth in the US market, and at the same time, we are looking at east and West Africa — and we are looking at Asia,” he said.

Gulftainer is investigating a number of breakbulk and general cargo opportunities as well as container growth. It is also exploring signing concession deals and snapping up assets to attain its growth goal of 10-million TEU in five years.

Richards said Gulftainer is looking at two to three entities to purchase an existing business in the US and the Middle East, and hopes that the US one will be finalised next year and “the Middle East one maybe in 2020”.

Gulftainer is also hoping to enter the African market by 2019, said Richards.

“[The] continent has so much of [the] raw materials that the world needs at this time. The only way to get those out of Africa is to build good gateways,” he said.

Gulftainer’s entry into Africa would see it going head-to-head with fellow UAE port operator DP World, which has established a robust presence in the African port operations market.

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