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DP World may bid for new free trade zone at JNPT

Port operator plans to invest Rs 1,000 crore if it wins the bid; it is also interested in setting up a logistics hub.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2018, 10.15 AM IST
Dubai-based DP World, one of the leading global operators of marine and inland terminals, is interested in setting up a logistics hub and also managing the free trade zone in Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Terminal (JNPT).

The company is likely to bid for the free trade zone that will come up in the 277 hectare special economic zone (SEZ) in the country’s largest port. It may invest about ₹1,000 crore in the facility if it wins the bid, a top shipping ministry official said.

Speaking to ET, chairman-Incharge of JNPT Neeraj Bansal said that DP World among other major global and local companies have shown interest to develop the free trade zone in the JNPT along with setting up plants and manufacturing facilities in the SEZ.

Bansal said that the tenders for the same would soon be called, but refused to share details of the DP World proposal.

The port operator is already present in JNPT, and is currently operating two terminals. DP World, in partnership with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), has announced the creation of an investment platform to invest up to $3 billion in ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India.

In an interview with ET last year, DP World group chairman and chief executive officer Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem had said that the group was committed to investing in infrastructure and logistics in India. “Logistics is the biggest obstacle in the flow of goods in India as there are several inefficiencies in supply. We would like to transfer our knowledge and expertise to make sure cargo moves faster in the most cost efficient way," he had told ET.

The JNPT SEZ is expected to see a total investment of ₹60,000 crore, shipping, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari had earlier claimed.

JNPT has a total SEZ area of 277 hectares, out of which 77 hectares is for support infrastructure such as roads and common facilities.

Companies have to bid for plots in the remaining 200 hectares to set up their plants and warehouses. Due to the high demand from companies to set up units, a planned housing project in JNPT has been scrapped. Foxconn, the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronic devices such as Apple’s iPhones, is also looking to set up a 200-acre plant in the JNPT SEZ.

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