Company: P&O PORTS
State: NEW SOUTH WALES
P&O PORTS DEVELOPS INFRASTRUCTURE IN INDIA
P&O Ports has been developing private ports throughout the world since the mid 1980s, when new domestic investment opportunities declined in Australia. Following the opening of the Indian market to private port investment in the early 1990s, P&O Ports successfully developed several facilities along the Indian coast and now is one of the largest foreign developers of infrastructure in India. In July 1997, P&O Ports obtained a 30 year licence to build, operate and manage a container terminal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai. The terminal, the Nhava Sheva International
Container Terminal, was completed in 1999, at a cost of US$200 million. It uses state of the art equipment and sophisticated computerised ship planning and crane and cargo management systems. As a result, it is has set new Indian standards for vessel turn around times and the number of ship moves. Its success prompted P&O Ports to expand capacity significantly. In addition to Nhava Sheva, P&O Ports also has further interests in other port and terminal developments. At Kandla (Gujarat), P&O Ports was the highest bidder in a recent tender and
negotiations on a concession agreement are complete; the Port has approved P&O Ports’ bid with some caveats which are presently being discussed. At Chennai (Tamil Nadu), P&O Ports has signed a concession and is due to take over a large existing port facility in late 2001. At Cochin (Kerala), P&O Ports is the highest bidder for the privatisation of the existing container terminal and is awaiting Government approvals. Besides these interests, P&O Ports also is investigating other port related acquisitions like inland container handling facilities, container terminals in Haldia (West Bengal) and Mumbai and possible further development at Jawaharlal Nehru Port.
P&O Ports found the widespread use of English and India’s familiar British based legal system positive elements in developing their ventures. However, their success has not been without challenges. For port development projects, negotiations with central and state governments can be quite drawn out affairs. However, patience and diplomacy paid off and P&O Ports considers India has good future opportunities.
Source: P&O Ports, 2001.