By Tom Arnold
DUBAI, July 28 (Reuters) – DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, has started building a new $1.6 billion container terminal in Dubai in response to demand for more capacity and larger vessels, it said on Tuesday.
Jebel Ali port, owned by DP World, has established itself as one of the largest container ports in the Middle East, boosted by Dubai’s status as a growing centre for commerce. The emirate’s hosting of the World Expo in 2020 is expected to provide a further lift to trade.
DP World said phase 1 of container Terminal 4 at the port will create new capacity of 3.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) by 2018, taking total capacity at DP World’s flagship port to 22.1 million TEU.
“The new capacity is a response to feedback from customers expressing the need for more capacity at Jebel Ali due to an expected increase in trade in the run-up to Expo 2020. Shipping lines will be able to bring more of the world’s largest vessels to our terminals,” said Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
The complex will be equipped with around 110 cranes, with a total quay length of about 11,000 metres, it added.
DP World made the announcement on the same day as it reported first-half 2015 gross container volumes across its global ports were up 4.1 percent on a like-for-like basis from a year earlier and up 4.2 percent on a reported basis.
The Dubai-based company handled 30.6 million TEU with growth largely driven by its terminals in Europe and the United Arab Emirates, it said in a separate statement.
Business in the UAE grew by 6 percent, with Europe showing steady growth despite a difficult geopolitical environment, it said, without elaborating.
“Full-year market volume growth is now forecast to be at approximately 3 percent and DP World is expected to perform ahead of the market,” Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf said.
Consolidated volumes, at terminals over which DP World has control, rose 3.5 percent to 14.4 million TEU.
DP World said its port in Yarimca, Turkey, was on track to launch in the fourth quarter, while its proposed acquisition of Fairview Terminal in Canada was expected to close in the second half of 2015.
It said it also expects to add 2 million TEU of capacity at Terminal 3 of its home port of Jebel Ali in the second half. (Editing by Susan Fenton)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.