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United States to invest in Adani’s Colombo Port Project

Development of CWIT will support the growth of the Sri Lankan economy. U.S. Development Finance Institution Commits $553 Million for Adani's Sri Lankan Colombo Port JV

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  • The United States will provide support for the development of a deepwater shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo where Adani ports has stake.
  • This investment aims to drive private sector-led growth and help Sri Lanka’s economic recovery by attracting essential foreign exchange.
  • The cooperation between the U.S., Sri Lanka, and India is focused on developing sustainable infrastructure, including smart and green ports.
  • The initiative represents a significant step in international collaboration and promises lasting benefits for the region and the global maritime industry.

Colombo, November 8, 2023 – The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced a substantial investment of $553 million in the Colombo West International Terminal Pvt. Ltd. (CWIT). This consortium is led by India’s prominent port operator, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd., in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s leading enterprise, John Keells Holdings (JKH), and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

DFC’s Strategic Investment in Colombo Port

In a noteworthy development, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, has unveiled a significant investment to address pressing development challenges in the region. The DFC works closely with the private sector across various sectors, including energy, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, small businesses, and financial services.

Historic Partnership with the Adani Group

This marks the first instance of a U.S. government agency funding an Adani project, signifying a strong endorsement of the Adani Group’s capabilities. This investment demonstrates the U.S. government’s confidence in the Adani Group’s ability to establish a world-class container facility at the Colombo Port.

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Mr. Karan Adani, Whole-Time Director and CEO of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, expressed his appreciation, stating, “We welcome the partnership with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in funding the Adani project, which reaffirms our vision, capabilities, and governance in the eyes of the international community.”

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Transforming the Socio-Economic Landscape

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, one of the world’s leading port developers and operators, is set to leverage its extensive expertise in infrastructure development to transform the socio-economic landscape in Colombo and the broader island. The completion of the Colombo West International Terminal project is expected to generate thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities and significantly enhance Sri Lanka’s trade and commerce ecosystem.

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Meeting Colombo’s Growing Port Needs

The Port of Colombo is the largest and busiest transshipment port in the Indian Ocean. It has been consistently operating at over 90% capacity since 2021. The investment in the new terminal aims to meet the needs of the growing economies in the Bay of Bengal, capitalizing on Sri Lanka’s strategic location on major shipping routes and its proximity to expanding markets.

DFC’s Commitment to Economic Growth

DFC CEO Mr. Scott Nathan underscored the organization’s mission to drive private sector investments that promote development and economic growth while strengthening the strategic positions of its partners. The $553 million private-sector loan commitment for the West Container Terminal is set to expand Colombo’s shipping capacity, fostering prosperity for Sri Lanka without adding to sovereign debt and enhancing the position of regional allies.

The substantial investment by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation marks a significant milestone in advancing economic development and elevating Sri Lanka’s position in the global trade landscape.

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About Colombo West International Terminal Pvt Ltd

Colombo West International Terminal Pvt. Ltd. is a consortium consisting of India’s largest port operator, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd, Sri Lanka’s leading enterprise, John Keells Holdings, and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. The consortium will develop the Colombo West International Terminal (CWIT) under a build, operate, and transfer (BOT) agreement for a 35-year period.

The development of this terminal will strengthen Colombo Port’s position as the primary hub in the region and is expected to elevate its ranking to the 20th position among the world’s top container terminals. It will also enhance the port’s global shipping connectivity, which currently ranks 12th worldwide.

Once commissioned, CWIT will become the largest and deepest container terminal in Sri Lanka, boasting a quay length of 1,400 meters and an alongside depth of 20 meters. CWIT will equip itself to handle ultra-large container vessels with capacities of up to 24,000 TEUs. The new terminal’s annual cargo handling capacity is projected to exceed 3.2 million TEUs.

About Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Limited

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) is a subsidiary of the diversified Adani Group, one of India’s leading business conglomerates. It has transitioned from a port-focused company into an integrated transport provider, offering comprehensive solutions from the port gate to the customer’s door. APSEZ stands as India’s largest port developer and operator, managing six strategically positioned ports and terminals on the west coast of India (Mundra, Dahej, Tuna, Hazira in Gujarat, Mormugao in Goa, and Dighi in Maharashtra), along with five ports and terminals on the east coast (Dhamra in Odisha, Gangavaram and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and Kattupalli and Ennore in Tamil Nadu).

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