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DP World keen on India development

DP World keen on India development

Mumbai: Dubai World has earmarked India as a key region in its global growth strategy. Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem (pictured) has reaffirmed his company's commitment to developing Port Kulpi in West Bengal and the company's marine terminal operating subsidiary, DP World, is in the process of commissioning new port facilities at the east coast terminal, the first phase of which will be completed by the end of 2009. They will include 450 metres of quay wall, annual box-handling capacity of 650,000 TEU, a ship demolition facility and an adjacent industrial park. The Dubai World chairman was speaking during a visit to the West Bengal state capital of Kolkata whose port, together with Haldia, serves the region at present.

However, containerised cargo volumes are rising so rapidly that these two ports, accessed by locks, are running out of capacity and Kulpi which, unlike them, can offer direct access to vessels, will provide vital additional capacity. In addition to new port facilities, the 3,000-acre Dubai World development at Kulpi will incorporate a 2,700-acre Special Economic Zone. The project has already seen protests by local civil liberty group - Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity - whose members believe that the project lacks transparency and has not justified the displacement of local villagers.

Growth in India's containerised cargo traffic is currently running at about 15% a year and experts predict that as much as $15bn will need to be spent on new port facilities country-wide over the next five years.  [08/01/07]