Dubai-based DP World pumped nearly $1.91 billion into ports management projects worldwide between 2006 and 2009 to sharply boost its global port presence and become the world’s third largest private sea port investor, according to an international port law firm.
Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW), which is headquartered in Britain and has offices in many other countries, was commenting on recent reports about DP World’s decision to acquire a controlling interest in two port companies in Suriname as part of plans to expand its South American port presence.
HFW gave no figures on such projects on the grounds the Dubai government-controlled DP World did not say how much it is paying for the majority stakes in Integra Port Services [IPS] and Suriname Port Services [SPS].
The report noted that IPS has a concession for a container and break-bulk cargo terminal in Nieuwe Haven Port while SPS owns a nearby break-bulk facility, both in the Surinamese capital Paramaribo.
DP World, which expects to close on the deals in the third quarter, will have a management services contract for both terminals, it said.It added that the company operates container terminals in Callao, Peru and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is developing a terminal in Santos, Brazil.
“DP World invested $1.91 billion between 2006 and 2009, making it the world's third largest port private investor.”
DP World is a major operator of marine ports with 49 terminals in operation and a further nine under development across 31 countries.
In 2010, DP World handled nearly 50 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) across its portfolio from the Americas to Asia. With a pipeline of expansion and development projects in key growth markets, including India, China and the Middle East, capacity is expected to rise to around 92 million TEU by 2020, in line with market demand.
A majority of the company, which employs over 30,000 people, is owned by Dubai World.The company was founded in 2005 by merging Dubai Ports Authority and Dubai Ports International (which had been founded in 1999).
It purchased Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) of the United Kingdom in 2006 for £3.9 billion ($7 billion), which was at the time the world's fourth largest ports operator. Shares representing 23 per cent of the company were floated on the NASDAQ Dubai stock exchange in 2007.