DP World Inks MoU to Develop India’s Infrastructure

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  • As US Approves 2017 Funding to Aid Seaports’ Development

Dubai-based terminal operator DP World has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) targeting development of the logistics sector in India.

The agreement comes as a result of the visit to India in February 2016 of Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, when DP World announced that it was seeking opportunities in the country worth over USD 1 billion over the next few years.

As disclosed, the investment will be aimed at development of port infrastructure of the Sagarmala project, creation of the Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor, river transportation and cold chain storage, investing in port-led special economic zones, free trade zones, ICDs and cruise terminals.

“We have been a part of India’s growth story for nearly two decades now and we are delighted to further strengthen this relationship with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The NIIF plays a crucial role in financing India’s infrastructure and we welcome their approach to encouraging development in the sector,” DP World CEO said.

“This will further develop Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India” and “Invest India” campaigns by encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) and funding for landmark projects like Sagarmala and Bharatmala.”

“One of the key priorities of the Indian Government is preventing the loss of agricultural produce. This can be managed through adequate marine and warehousing infrastructure including cold storage as well as development of inland waterways, reducing logistics costs at the same time,” bin Sulayem added.

Under Sagarmala program,  415 projects, at an estimated investment of approximately  Rs.8 Lac Crore, have been identified, including port modernization and new port development, port connectivity enhancement, port-linked industrialization and coastal community development over the period 2015 to 2035.

As part of the program, six new port locations have been identified, namely – Vadhavan, Enayam, Sagar Island, Paradip Outer Harbour, Sirkazhi and Belekeri.

The key aim of the projects, as pointed out by the country’s government, is increasing the share of coastal shipping and inland navigation in the transport modal mix.

In the meantime,  the US Congress has approved the 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which will maintain or increase funding for programs in an effort to aid America’s seaports deliver economic prosperity, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) informed.

“The funding levels in this legislation will benefit US ports by ensuring the federal government continues to contribute its share of capital to seaport-related infrastructure, port security and voluntary diesel emissions reductions efforts,” Kurt J. Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO, said.

“AAPA’s US-member ports are especially encouraged by the robust funding provided for the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Navigation Program, which is a critical partner in ensuring that America’s waterside infrastructure is prepared for growing volumes of both export and import trade,” Nagle added.

AAPA said that the specific funding levels within the bill that benefit US ports include USD 6.038 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, including USD 2.66 billion for navigation projects and studies, USD 1.301 billion for Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund work and USD 28 million for the Donor and Energy Transfer Ports Program.

Additionally, USD 500 million would go for the US Department of Transportation’s TIGER program, USD 100 million for the Department of Homeland Security’s Port Security Grant Program and USD 60 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, among others.

“Seaport cargo activity accounts for 26 percent of the US economy,” Nagle said, adding that the 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill “will better enable seaports to meet a growing demand for the safe, efficient movement of freight.”

World Maritime News

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