Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) is set to develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) at Colombo Port in a partnership with Japan after the Sri Lankan Government approved the project through a tripartite understanding with India and Japan.
The terminal will have a 1,400 m quay wall, water depth of 20 m, terminal area of about 64 hectares with an annual capacity of 2.6 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUS).
Japan and India will jointly own an 85% stake in the terminal, on the lines of the Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd (CICT), in which China Merchants Port Holdings Company Ltd of China holds 85% stake and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) holds the remaining stake.
The WCT is the fifth container terminal at Colombo Port, and is being offered to India and Japan after the Sri Lankan Cabinet scrapped a tripartite memorandum of cooperation (MoC) signed in May 2019 with the two nations to jointly develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) at Colombo Port.
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Last month, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Ports and Shipping also proposed to develop the West Container Terminal (WCT) in parallel with the ECT as a public-private partnership (PPP) project under build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis for 35 years by a joint venture (JV) comprising SLPA and nominees of the government of India and Japan based on the framework used in developing the CICT.
The CICT framework included a BOT tenure of 35 years, one-time upfront payment, an annual payment of land lease and royalty based on the containers handled at the terminal.
Based on the CICT framework, it was decided by the then Sri Lankan government that this model could be successfully used for the development of subsequent container terminals, revisiting the payments to be received by SLPA based on the comparative size of the terminal area and improved business opportunity in the port of Colombo.
This will give the Indo-Japan team operational flexibility to operate commercially in line with other private operators.
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