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Rising volume: A file picture of Mundra port. The port will have a capacity to load up to 7.5 million standard containers a year once the new terminal is fully operational. Photo: Ashesh Shah/Mint

Rising volume: A file picture of Mundra port. The port will have a capacity to load up to 7.5 million standard containers a year once the new terminal is fully operational. Photo: Ashesh Shah/Mint

MSC to partner Adani in new container facility at Mundra port

MSC to partner Adani in new container facility at Mundra port

Bangalore: Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA, or MSC, the world’s second-biggest container shipping line, and Adani International Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd will form an equal joint venture to develop and operate a container loading facility at Mundra port in Gujarat, two people with direct knowledge of the deal said on condition of anonymity.

Rising volume: A file picture of Mundra port. The port will have a capacity to load up to 7.5 million standard containers a year once the new terminal is fully operational. Photo: Ashesh Shah/Mint

Mint could not independently ascertain the value of the deal.

Gautam Adani-owned Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) runs India’s biggest private port at Mundra. Adani International Container Terminal, a 100% subsidiary of APSEZ, was formed for developing a container terminal and associated facility at the south basin in Mundra port.

“During the year, the company has entered into (an) arrangement for proposed joint venture with strategic investor for the development and operation of container terminal (CT-3) at South Zone in Mundra. As per the terms of the arrangement, both APSEZ and strategic investor will hold stake of 50% each in Adani International Container Terminal...," APSEZ said in its annual report earlier this week.

“I cannot tell you anything more than what is mentioned in the annual report," a spokesman for APSEZ said.

MSC could not be reached for comment immediately. A person who answered a call made to Lawrence Matthews, MSC’s spokesperson in Geneva, said he was not available for comment as he was travelling.

MSC and APSEZ have “signed an agreement to develop and operate the new terminal jointly," said a port industry executive briefed on the deal and one of the two persons mentioned earlier. “The deal has not been publicly announced."

The deal will help MSC get priority berthing at the new facility and APSEZ will gain from guaranteed volumes.

MSC’s ports business is held via a stake in the Netherlands-based Terminals Investment Ltd. It handles around 15 million standard containers a year at 20 terminals in 16 countries.

Mundra, India’s third-biggest container port after Jawaharlal Nehru port and Chennai port, loaded 1.52 million standard containers in the year to March, up from 1.23 million containers a year earlier.

The first phase of the new terminal with a capacity to load 1.5 million standard containers a year will be ready for operations by December.

The capacity will be expanded to handle up to 5 million standard containers a year as demand grows.

When the third terminal is fully operational, Mundra port can load up to 7.5 million standard containers a year.

Mundra port has two container handling facilities—one run by Dubai’s DP World Pvt. Ltd and the second by the Adani Group itself. These two terminals can together load up to 2.5 million standard containers a year. “The existing two container terminals will reach full capacity by 2012, so we are creating additional capacity to meet demand," the APSEZ spokesman said.

In June 2003, the Adani Group sold the first container terminal at Mundra port to P&O Ports (since acquired by DP World, majority owned by the Dubai-government) for $195 million.

p.manoj@livemint.com

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