AD Ports Group JV to invest up to $175 million to develop Karachi Port’s East Wharf

AD Ports Group and Karachi Port Trust (KPT) entered a multi-year concession agreement worth $175 million to develop Karachi Port’s East Wharf, marking a pivotal moment for Pakistan’s maritime industry.

Abu Dhabi Ports Group announced the signing of the new concession agreement for Bulk and General Cargo operations with Karachi Port Trust (KPT), the Pakistani federal government agency that oversees the operations of the Port of Karachi, on February 3, 2024.

Under the terms of the 25-year concession agreement, Karachi Gateway Terminal Multipurpose Limited (KGTML), a Joint Venture between AD Ports Group, as a majority shareholder, and Kaheel Terminals, a UAE-based company, will develop, operate and manage the Bulk and General Cargo terminal berths 11-17 at Karachi Port’s East Wharf, further enhancing Karachi’s position as a key player in the maritime industry, according to the AD Ports statement.

AD Ports Group in June 2023 secured a partnership to develop, operate, and manage container terminal berths 6-10 at East Wharf, known as Karachi Gateway Terminal Multipurpose Ltd. Now, KPT and AD Ports Group, along with their co-partner Kaheel Terminals, a UAE-based company, will spearhead the development, operation, and management of bulk and general cargo terminal berths.

The new concession brings a substantial addition of 1,500 meters of quay wall to the existing 800 meters dedicated to container operations, granting the joint venture full operational control over the wharf. This expanded capacity will facilitate a wide range of cargo handling activities, including steel, paper, clinker, grains, and fertilizers.

The joint venture is committed to injecting approximately $75 million over the initial two years, covering various upfront fees, prepayments, and infrastructure and equipment investments.

Additionally, a long-term investment plan totaling $100 million within the next five years aims to enhance efficiency and capacity by 75%, potentially allowing the terminal to handle up to 14 million tonnes annually.

With immediate control over East Wharf’s existing operations, the joint venture anticipates substantial revenue growth in the short term, projecting around $30 million in revenue and approximately $10 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization from the bulk and general cargo terminal, handling approximately 8 million tonnes annually.

The agreement resonates with the UAE’s commitment to fostering global trade partnerships, as highlighted by Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Pakistani side to foster industrial growth, and unlock new avenues for investment and economic development, whilst realizing our wise leaders’ shared vision of progress and prosperity,” the minister said.

Mohamed Juma Al-Shamisi, managing director and CEO at AD Ports Group, echoed the sentiment of commitment to regional connectivity, affirming the group’s dedication to investing in key maritime trade routes.

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