DP World will spend Dh11bn to lift capacity

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By Tom ArnoldĀ  www.thenational.ae

DP World plans to spend nearly US$3 billion (Dh11.01bn) this year and next on extending terminal capacity as the ports operator seeks to tap new markets and cater to larger ships.

DP World's London Gateway, a container port on the Thames Estuary, is set to open in the fourth quarter. Stephen Lock for The National
DP World's London Gateway, a container port on the Thames Estuary, is set to open in the fourth quarter. Stephen Lock for The National

The Dubai-based company yesterday posted a 21 per cent rise in profits last year to $555 million, up from $459m a year earlier. DP World made $249m from asset sales in Australia, Europe and the Middle East.Earlier this month, DP World said it was selling its assets in two container terminals and a logistics centre in Hong Kong for $742m.

Part of the cash will be recycled into 11 new developments and expansion projects as it focuses its strength on fast-growing markets.

“This year, we have continued to actively manage our portfolio to maximum advantage, divesting non-core or low-return assets,” said the DP World chairman Sultan bin Sulayem. “This has enabled us to move capital into those markets where we see more profitable returns whilst strengthening our capital base.”

Despite a tricky few years for the shipping industry caused by the global financial crisis, DP World has grown to capture a 10 per cent market share of global ports operations.

Its expansion will continue this year with the opening in a few months of Embraport in Santos, Brazil. Designed to serve Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous city, phase one of the project will involve a capacity of 1 million standard container units, with phase two adding a further 1.5 million units.

It is also building out its home port of Jebel Ali, where it will add 1 million units of capacity at terminal 2, due to open this year, and a further 4 million units at terminal 3, opening next year.

But its focus is not only on emerging markets.

London Gateway, the container port on the Thames Estuary, is set to open in the fourth quarter of the year. It will have an initial capacity of 1.6 million units. More info

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