• ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperShipping

Gulftainer signs deal to operate Delaware port

The 50-year agreement calls for the United Arab Emirates-based company to invest up to $600 million.

   Gulftainer has finalized a 50-year concession agreement with the state of Delaware to operate and develop the Port of Wilmington. 
   The agreement, signed Tuesday by Gulftainer subsidiary GT USA, includes an investment of up to $600 million in the port to upgrade and expand the terminal.
   Based in the United Arab Emirates, Gulftainer is the world’s largest privately owned independent port operator and logistics company. Gulftainer said the port deal represents the largest operation ever run by a UAE company in the United States as well as the largest investment ever by a private UAE company in the country.
   The company said the 50-year concession follows a year of negotiations and a thorough evaluation of Gulftainer’s capabilities globally, including in the United States, where it operates the Canaveral Cargo Terminal in Port Canaveral, Fla. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States completed a formal review and granted Gulftainer exclusive rights to manage the port.
   The deal allowing Gulftainer to lease the Port of Wilmington from the state was announced in March and approved by the Delaware Legislature. 
   Under terms of the agreement, Gulftainer’s subsidiary GT USA will make annual royalty payments to the state totaling an estimated $13 million over the next decade. 
   Gulftainer’s planned investment of up to $600 million includes $400 million for a new 1.2 million-TEU container facility at DuPont’s former Edgemoor site, which was acquired by the Diamond State Port Corp. in 2016.
   The deal did have its critics. One of the most vocal was Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, who alleged, “Gulftainer is co-owned by the emir of Sharjah, UAE and Hamid Jafar, Dr. Jafar’s brother and business partner. The Iraqi Jafar brothers share a history of participation in Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction programs.”
    And Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., wrote to President Trump in early April asking for a hold on the deal until the CFIUS review was completed. In August, Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted for allegedly misusing campaign funds and he was removed as chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.
    But Peter Richards, chief executive officer of Gulftainer, said his company “never has, never will have anything to do with terrorism, with dirty money” and had welcomed the review by federal authorities.
   At a signing ceremony Wednesday, Badr Jafar, chairman of Gulftainer’s executive board, said, “This landmark agreement builds on Gulftainer’s 43-year track record of delivering excellence and dependability in ports and logistics operations around the world, and we are confident that this public-private partnership will propel the Port of Wilmington towards becoming the principal gateway of the Eastern Seaboard.
   “Since Gulftainer’s entry into the U.S. through our operations in Port Canaveral in 2015, we have discovered major untapped potential in this sector and we will continue to look for attractive investment opportunities in the region,” Jafar added.
   In an April 3 interview on the UAE radio station Dubai Eye 103.8, Richards said Gultainer was “looking at ports on the West Coast and also in the Gulf of Mexico as well at this time. We’re even looking towards Nova Scotia.”  

Kim Link-Wills, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.

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