Port of Wilmington: new ownership

Port of Wilmington: new ownership

Gulftainer-Delaware deal clears review

UAE’s independent port operator and logistics company’s plan to take over Port of Wilmington has passed the crucial CFIUS review

01 August 2018

UAE-based Gulftainer’s plan to manage the Port of Willmington in the US State of Delaware moved a step ahead with the US Federal Government completing the review and clearing the deal, last month.

Gulftainer, an independent port operator and logistics company and part of UAE conglomerate Crescent Enterprises, said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has completed a review of the agreement that grants Gulftainer’s subsidiary GT USA Wilmington the rights to operate and develop the Port of Wilmington for 50 years.

Currently owned and operated by the Diamond State Port Corporation (DSPC), a corporate entity of the State of Delaware, the Port of Wilmington is a fully serviced deepwater port and marine terminal, strategically located on 308 acres at the confluence of the Delaware and Christina Rivers, said a statement from the company.

The announcement follows an earlier preliminary agreement between Gulftainer and the State of Delaware to grant GT USA Wilmington the exclusive concession rights for 50 years.

As part of the deal, Gulftainer is planning significant investments in developing the port’s cargo terminal capabilities to enhance its productivity. In addition, Gulftainer is planning to invest $580 million in the port over the next nine years, including approximately $410 million for a new 1.2 million TEU container facility at DuPont’s former Edgemoor site, which was acquired by the DSPC in 2016.

The CFIUS review found that the port agreement is not a covered transaction, reflecting the consensus of frontline agencies charged with ensuring the protection and security of the US. DSPC’s Board of Directors and Gulftainer are currently reviewing the final terms of the agreement.

John Carney, Governor of Delaware, said: “The completion of the federal review is a significant step forward in finalising our agreement with Gulftainer that will safeguard and create well-paid blue-collar jobs at one of Delaware’s most important employment hubs.”

Jeffrey Bullock, secretary of State of Delaware and chairman of DSPC, said: “More than a dozen federal agencies that make up CFIUS have completed their review of our plans to grant Gulftainer a concession to operate the Port of Wilmington, and greatly expand its capacity and capabilities over the coming years.”

“The committee has found that the concession agreement is not a covered transaction under section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, and there is no need for further review. This is the best response we could have received, and it paves the way for us to finalise our contract with Gulftainer over the summer,” he added.

Peter Richards, Group chief executive officer of Gulftainer, said: “We are delighted to have successfully completed the CFIUS process for the second time. The result brings a significant boost to our efforts to manage strategic cargo terminals that can be developed and scaled to bring a whole range of benefits to the economy.”

“From adding over 12,000 jobs to increasing the container trade volume and building new capabilities at the Port of Wilmington, we are confident of achieving substantial targets over the next ten years alone. Ultimately, in creating this shared value, we will strengthen revenue inflows to the State of Delaware,” he added.

Established in 1976, Gulftainer is a privately owned independent port management and 3PL logistics company based in Sharjah and part of UAE conglomerate Crescent Enterprises. In the UAE, Gulftainer operates three main ports on behalf of the Sharjah Port Authority – the Khorfakkan Container Terminal (KCT), Hamriyah Port and the Sharjah Container Terminal (SCT). The company’s international presence spans the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas with projects in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan, Brazil, and the US.

In the US, Gulftainer currently operates the Canaveral Cargo Terminal in Port Canaveral in the state of Florida after winning a 35-year concession in 2015. Through its strategic partnerships and by achieving consistently high productivity levels, the company has enhanced operations at the port, moving from breakbulk shipments to container and containerised reefer cargo, including fresh fruit from Costa Rica and car shipments. In addition, Gulftainer continues to provide exceptional logistics services to numerous branches of the US military as well as companies within the US space industry.

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