Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. will work with Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings Plc to develop a port terminal in the island nation, Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s first such standalone overseas project.
India’s biggest private port operator got a letter of intent from Sri Lankan authorities to build and operate the West Container Terminal of Colombo Port for 35 years, Adani Ports said in an exchange filing Monday. The project cost is estimated to be around $750 million, according to Daya Ratnayake, chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
This marks the latest addition in the expanding portfolio of the Indian firm that already operates a dozen ports in India, commands 30% market share locally and recently secured an investment from Warburg Pincus LLC. Its tie-up with John Keells -- Sri Lanka’s largest listed conglomerate -- also bolsters India’s engagement with its neighboring nation that has in recent years relied heavily on China for building its infrastructure.
Shares of Adani Ports rose as much as 2.3% in Mumbai on Tuesday, pushing this year’s climb to almost 50%. John Keells’s shares advanced as much as 1.4% in Colombo.
The overseas project is part of tycoon Adani’s rapidly diversifying empire as he adds assets from ports to airports, coal mines and data centers, underscoring the rising heft of this first-generation entrepreneur.
The port terminal will have a quay length of 1,400 meters and depth of 20 meters, making it a prime trans-shipment cargo destination to handle ultra large container carriers, according to the filing from Adani Ports.
It will be the first ever Indian port operator in Sri Lanka and hold 51% in the joint venture.