Adani Ports is ready to become Sri Lanka’s first Indian port operator

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. would collaborate with John Keells Holdings Plc of Sri Lanka to establish a port terminal in the island country, which would be billionaire Gautam Adani’s first independent international venture. Adani Ports, India’s most gigantic private port operator, said Monday in an exchange filing that it received a notice of intent from Sri Lankan authorities to construct and run the West Container Terminal of Colombo Port for 35 years. As per Daya Ratnayake, chairperson of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the project’s cost is expected to be about $750 million. This is the newest addition to the Indian firm’s growing portfolio, which already includes dozens of ports in India, a 30 percent market position, and a new acquisition from Warburg Pincus LLC. Its partnership with John Keells, Sri Lanka’s largest publicly traded conglomerate, also enhances India’s relations with its neighbor, which has leaned solely on China for infrastructure growth in recent years. Adani Ports’ stock gained as much as 2.3 percent in Mumbai on Tuesday, bringing the company’s year-to-date gain to nearly 50%. In Colombo, John Keells’ stock rose as much as 1.4 percent. The foreign project is part of Adani’s increasingly expanding footprint, which includes facilities ranging from ports to airports, coal mines, and data centers, highlighting the growing clout of this first-generation billionaire. As per Adani Ports’ filing, the port terminal would have a quay length of 1,400 meters and a depth of 20 meters, rendering it a prime transshipment cargo destination for handling super-wide container carriers. This will be Sri Lanka’s first Indian port project, with a 51 percent stake in the strategic alliance.

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