Indian Transport & Logistics

US DFC commits $553mn for Adani’s terminal venture in Sri Lanka

This is the first time that the U.S. government, through one of its agencies, is funding an Adani project

US DFC commits $553mn for Adani’s terminal venture in Sri Lanka
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U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has committed $553 million for the development of Colombo West International Terminal (CWIT), a consortium of Adani Ports and SEZ, Sri Lanka's leading enterprise John Keells Holdings (JKH) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

"The new terminal reflects DFC’s commitment to financing high-quality infrastructure that supports its partner’s development needs, invests in local communities, and is respectful of local financial conditions. The investment further demonstrates the United States’ enduring commitment to Sri Lanka’s economic growth and its regional economic integration, including with India," says a release from DFC.

“DFC works to drive private-sector investments that advance development and economic growth while strengthening the strategic positions of our partners," says Scott Nathan, CEO, DFC. "That’s what we’re delivering with this infrastructure investment in the Port of Colombo. Sri Lanka is one of the world’s key transit hubs, with half of all container ships transiting through its waters. DFC’s commitment of $553 million in private sector loans for the West Container Terminal will expand its shipping capacity, creating greater prosperity for Sri Lanka – without adding to sovereign debt – while at the same time strengthening the position of our allies across the region.”

Karan Adani, CEO, Adani Ports and SEZ

This is the first time that the U.S. government, through one of its agencies, is funding an Adani project, adds a release from Adani Ports. “We welcome the association of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, in funding the Adani project, and we see this as a reaffirmation by the international community of our vision, our capabilities and our governance,” says Karan Adani, CEO, Adani Ports and SEZ. “As one of the world’s largest port developers and operators, APSEZ brings to this project not only our proven world-class expertise but also our deep experience in infrastructure creation. When completed, Colombo West International Terminal project will transform the socio-economic landscape, not just in Colombo but across the island, through thousands of direct and indirect new employment opportunities and by massively boosting Sri Lanka’s trade and commerce ecosystem.”

Krishan Balendra, Chairperson, John Keells Holdings, adds: "DFC’s investment is an endorsement of the potential of the West Terminal project and a boost for investor confidence as Sri Lanka’s economy recovers."

The Port of Colombo is the largest and busiest transshipment port in the Indian Ocean, and has been operating at more than 90 percent utilisation since 2021, signalling its need for additional capacity.

CWIT will be developed on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis for a period of 35 years. When commissioned, CWIT will be the largest and deepest container terminal in Sri Lanka. With a quay length of 1,400 m and an alongside depth of 20 m, CWIT will be equipped to handle ultra large container vessels with capacities of 24,000 TEUs, and the new terminal’s annual cargo handling capacity is likely to exceed 3.2 million TEUs.

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