DP World to position BNCT as key hub in Indonesia

Key hub in Indonesia
DP World chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem (second from right) says after the partnership agreement signing that his group will invest in cutting-edge sustainable technologies, world-class training and the highest standards of health and safety,to eliminate inefficiency at the Belawan New Container Terminal and enable Indonesia to trade with the world. Photo from DP World
  • DP World partners with the Indonesia Investment Authority and the government-owned port operator, Pelindo, to manage and expand Belawan New Container Terminal in Sumatra
  • A strategic partnership agreement signed on June 23 aims to position the facility as Indonesia’s most direct link to the Malacca Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes
  • Under the deal, the Dubai-based port developer and manager will more than double throughput capacity at BNCT to 1.4 million TEUs

DP World is set to begin managing Belawan New Container Terminal in Sumatra with plans to more than double BNCT’s capacity in the years ahead and position it as a key hub in Indonesia with the most direct link to the Malacca Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The Dubai-based global port developer and manager announced the plan in a press statement after sealing a deal with the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) and government-owned port operator Pelindo/Persero to manage and carry out a major expansion of the terminal, DP World said.

The agreement calls for increasing BNCT’s capacity in the long term to 1.4 million TEUs, from 600,000 TEUs currently. BNCT will also aim to attract more direct calls, reducing North Sumatra’s reliance on regional hub ports to access regional and global markets, DP World said.

BNCT serves as a local hub for the neighbouring provinces in Sumatra. The expansion and modernization program will strengthen its position as a major trade and logistics gateway in the Malacca Strait.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World group chairman and chief executive, said his group is proud to help Indonesia expand Belawan New Container Terminal and support its ambitions to develop the economy of Sumatra through infrastructure.

“By investing in cutting-edge sustainable technologies, world-class training and the highest standards of health and safety, we aim to eliminate inefficiency and enable the flow of trade between Indonesia and the world,” Sultan Ahmed said.

The three-way strategic partnership deal was signed on June 23 in Jakarta by Sultan Ahmed, Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo/Persero) president director Arif Suhartono, and INA CEO Ridha Wirakusumah.

Alongside modernizing maritime infrastructure, DP World will work with its partners to connect other terminals and small ports on Sumatra Island to further realize BNCT’s role as a key hub in Indonesia that will reduce container logistics costs within Northern Sumatra.

Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir cited the strategic value of the port in a statement.

“As directed by President Joko Widodo, there is always strategic value for equity and acceleration of economic growth in the regions and nationally through port development, including this new container terminal at the Port of Belawan,” Thohir said.

He said the port is believed to support downstream industries to maximize exports in new ways and accelerate economic growth in North Sumatra.

“This is in accordance with the objectives of the Terminal port development, which will strengthen the national port industry ecosystem, as well as the competitiveness of Indonesian ports as strategic trade routes in Southeast Asia and internationally,” Thohir said.

Arif Suhartono, president director of Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo/Persero), hailed the agreement as a significant milestone that followed the signing of the master agreement in August 2022.

“I am optimistic that this agreement will be a catalyst for the further development of the BNCT as a world-class, connected and fully integrated container terminal that is the foundation for increased trade and a brighter future for our exporters, downstream industries and people,” Suhartono said.

“The realization of the Belawan Investment and Operations collaboration represents business expansion and strategic partnership, which are key pillars of our 2023 roadmap. This collaboration is also proof that after the merger, the level of investor confidence in Pelindo has increased.”

Ridha Wirakusumah, CEO of INA, said the agency’s investment in BNCT “serves as a crucial step towards positioning Indonesia as a prominent maritime axis and key player in the global logistics industry. This transformational project supports Indonesia’s economic growth and advances its maritime sector, becoming an important role in driving economic growth in Indonesia.”

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