Mumbai: Dubai-based marine terminal operator Dubai Ports World (DP World) will invest $2 billion in its India operations, company officials said.
DP World operates five container terminals in the country and manages an estimated 40 per cent of the country's container terminal operations.
These include Chennai and Vishakapatnam on the east coast and Kochi, Mundhra and JNPT on the West coast. DP World owns the terminals at Kochi and Vishakapatnam while the Mundhra, JNPT and Chennai container terminals were acquired with P&O last year.
DP World gained control of three terminals in India last year through its $6.8-billion acquisition of UK ports operator Peninsular & Oriental.
"Port investment is crucial for growth of industries," Ganesh Raj, senior vice president and managing director, DP World, said.
Raj said the huge investments undertaken by DP World have made turnaround of Chennai container terminal possible in such a short time.
"Before we took over, the terminal was witnessing a growth rate of 9 per cent per annum. But now it is clocking 22-23 per cent," he said.
DP World is eager to gain a presence in eastern India.
Raj said the company has achieved significant growth in traffic at its Indian ports in general.
India allows 100 per cent foreign direct investment for port development projects. It plans to raise 64 per cent of the proposed investments in ports from private companies. Container traffic is expected to clock growth rates of 15.5 per cent in the next five years and cargo traffic 7.7 per cent.
DP World operates terminals in 24 countries. The company says it has significant expansions under way in India and China.
In the US, however, DP World was forced to sell six ports it acquired in the P&O deal to AIG Global Investment Group in December due to political pressures.