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DP World to spend US$850mn on expansion plans

DP World plans to spend US$850mn on investment over the next three years to expand its key Jebel Ali port.

DP World plans to spend US$850mn on investment over the next three years to expand its key Jebel Ali port that will increase its capacity to 19 million TEU by 2014 and to create 1,000 new jobs at the new terminal.

The world's third-largest port operator said the expansion would create an additional capacity of four million TEU. The investment will be financed from existing cash resources and cashflow, according to a statement.

Supporting growth of Dubai and UAE

"Further investing in Jebel Ali, building a new container terminal as well as expanding the existing terminal, as we announced recently, will support the continued growth of Dubai and the UAE and enhance the country's status as the trade centre of the Middle East," chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said.

The new terminal, which will operate with the largest, most efficient quay cranes and have a draft of 17 metres, will be able to handle the world's largest container vessels planned for the future. The company is converting its existing general cargo berth into a new container terminal within the existing container port.

"The UAE has seen remarkable growth this year and the terminal is currently operating at very high levels of utilisation reflecting its strong position as a hub for the fast growing regions of the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Africa," chief executive Mohammed Sharaf said.

New container handling capacity

With GDP forecasts reflecting a continuation of growth across the region and container shipping lines ordering larger vessels, this expansion will ensure the port's customers will have the additional capacity required and a continuation of the high levels of efficiency they have come to expect from DP World, Sharaf said.

"We are creating new container handling capacity to meet... needs. In doing so, we are also creating around 1,000 jobs directly at the new terminal," Mohammed Al Muallem, senior vice-president and managing director of DP World, UAE region, said.