The government of Dubai today announced the establishment of P&O Ports, a new subsidiary specialised in developing and operating marine and inland ports in emerging markets.
The new operation appears designed to complement Dubai’s existing global presence in the ports space through DP World, which is focussed on larger ports, with a portfolio of more than 65 marine terminals worldwide.
P&O Ports will specialise in delivering unloading and handling services for multi-purpose brownfield ports, which tend to be uneconomic for larger operators, according to the government-owned Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC).
PCFC said the subsidiary was created following a feasibility study predicting increasing demand for smaller port services in emerging economies.
“The new company’s name, P&O Ports, reflects a rich marine heritage. We have the drive and ambition to take our company and this prestigious brand to new heights, identifying the next wave of opportunities for the development and operation of mixed cargo ports worldwide, particularly in emerging economies, said HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of PCFC.
Sulayem, who also chairs DP World, said P&O Ports had signed MOUs to enter into preliminary discussions with the governments of Madagascar, the Port of Berbera in the Republic of Somaliland and Albania to enhance their port infrastructure.
“The launch of P&O Ports complements Dubai’s global investments in the port industry and diversifies its operations to include maritime terminals of all sizes,” he added.
Arif Obaid Al Dehail, CEO of Trakhees, a division under the Ports, Customs & Free Zones Corporation has been selected to chair the new subsidiary, while Hassan Hadi, ex-first deputy chairman and former SVP of Research and Development at DP World has been appointed CEO.
The P&O name was previously associated with the UK ports and ferries group, founded in 1837. Dubai government-owned DP World agreed to acquire the firm at the end of 2005 for $5.7 billion.