Carney: hoping to see significant impact

Carney: hoping to see significant impact

Gulftainer wins 50-year US port pact

May 2018

UAE-based Gulftainer, the largest privately-owned independent port operator in the world, has announced that its subsidiary GT USA has inked a deal on terms with Delaware, US, which would grant it exclusive rights to operate and develop the Port of Wilmington for 50 years.

Terms of the agreement are to be formally approved by Diamond State Port Corporation Board and the Delaware General Assembly within the next month, followed by the formal review by the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

The new agreement provides Gulftainer access to one of the most strategically located marine ports in the US, situated only a four-hour voyage from the Atlantic Ocean, said a statement from Sharjah-based company.

GT USA’s concession includes the full management and development of the Port’s existing container volumes of 350,000 TEUs per year, which is forecasted to more than double in the years to come.

 Badr Jafar: great opportunity

Badr Jafar: great opportunity

 Notably, Wilmington Port, which started operations in 1923 as the first major port on the Delaware River, is the top North American port for imports of fresh fruit into the US, and has the largest dockside cold storage facility in the Country.

Over the next nine years, Gulftainer is planning to invest $580 million in the port, including approximately $410 million for a new 1.2 million TEU container facility at DuPont’s former Edgemoor site, which was acquired by the Diamond State Port Corporation in 2016.

 During this period, the company will fully develop all the cargo terminals capabilities and enhance the overall productivity of the port.

The agreement on terms follows over a year of negotiations and an evaluation of Gulftainer’s capabilities globally, including in the US. Within the States, the Emirati company currently operates the Canaveral Cargo Terminal in Port Canaveral, Florida, after winning a 35-year concession in 2015.  

John Carney, Governor of Delaware, said: “With Gulftainer’s proposal, we have an opportunity to develop the overall infrastructure and potential of the port, which can lead to a direct and significant impact on our economy as a whole.”

“We hope to see significant impact to the state’s revenue stream with the planned injection of $580 million investment into the cargo facilities within the city of Wilmington. This massive infrastructure upgrade will have a knock-on effect to the logistics sector of the entire East coast,” remarked Carney.

Badr Jafar, the chief executive of Crescent Enterprises and chairman of Gulftainer’s Executive Board, said: “We look forward to be given the opportunity to work closely with the State of Delaware authorities to achieve significant enhancement across the board, from infrastructure development and capacity building to creating a sustainable source of employment and economic growth.”

“We are keen to position Wilmington as the major gateway port to the US Mid-Atlantic states, he stated.

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