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DP World to develop terminal 7 at Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Port

DP World to develop terminal 7 at Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Port
DP World is on the march again, this time to Taiwan where it has vowed to help Kaohsiung Port regain some of its former glory.

The Dubai-based global terminal operator has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state run Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) for the development of Kaohsiung Port’s Terminal 7.

Key to seeking mutual “future business opportunities” is the goal of developing T7 to enable Kaohsiung to handle ultra-large containerships (ULCSs) for the first time. It is understood 13,000 teu class vessels are the largest containership able to call presently.

“Kaohsiung Port has enough container capacity to serve immediate growth in Taiwan but does not yet have the capability to attract new growth resulting from the ULCs added to line-haul services,” said Rashid Abdulla, svp and md of DP World’s Asia Pacific Region. “This MoU marks the intention to tackle this challenge.”

Kaohsiung Port ranked alongside Singapore, Hong Kong and Rotterdam as one of the world’s largest container ports in the 1990s but has steadily lost ground to new counterparts in China as well as South Korea. The Taiwanese government is spearheading a drive to reverse the slide and DP World’s global muscle will undoubtedly help Kaohsiung’s push to become a key Asia-Pacific transhipment hub once more.

Group chairman and ceo Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem noted that like Kaohsiung, DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port in Dubai was once a fishing village but had emerged to become among the world’s most technologically advanced and productive ports. The vision of Dubai’s leadership had enabled Jebel Ali to remain ahead of the global vessel upsizing curve, Sulayem said, and DP World looked forward to “sharing this experience with Kaohsiung port, helping Taiwan grow and its people prosper.”

Indeed in 2000 when Kaohsiung still ranked at number six in the world, Dubai ranked at 13, by 2014 Jebel Ali was the world’s 9th largest container port while Kaohisung had sunk to 13th in the list behind Port Klang in Malaysia.

“Our strategy in developing in strategic locations where our customers want us to be, serving global trade and being able to handle the new generation of ultra large vessels shows how we are investing in the future, translating our vision into reality,” Sulayem said.

For DP World, Kaohsiung Port’s key geographical location and “excellent” natural harbour make it an obvious target as it continues to spread its tentacles around the globe.

DP World has positioned itself as a “knowledge exporter” and proudly trumpets “advising governments around the world on ‘smart trade’ measures for profitable growth and the need to support local businesses for international economic progress”.

In 2016 alone DP World has taken an 80% stake in a $2bn joint venture with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) targeting ports, transportation and logistics infrastructure opportunities in Russia while also earmarking $1bn for brownfield container terminal expansions, long-term greenfield container concessions, inland container depots and the development of existing inter-modal rail services in India.

There has also been a 50-year, $500m concession to manage the multipurpose greenfield terminal of Posorja near Ecuador’s business capital Guayaquil; a $442m jv at the Port of Berbera in Somaliland, to be phased in over time and dependent on volumes generated at the key Horn of Africa hub; and a 25-year concession to develop and operate a new logistics centre in Kigali, Rwanda.

DP World now operates 77 inland and marine terminals in more than 40 countries, handling more than 170,000 teu a day. It’s Asia Pacific and Indian Subcontinent portfolio spans 11 countries, with 26 operating terminals offering customers capacity of 35m teu.