Sharjah-headquartered port operator Gulftainer has announced that its subsidiary, GT USA, has signed a deal with the state of Delaware in the US to secure exclusive rights to operate and develop the Port of Wilmington for 50 years.
Gulftainer said it would invest $580m over the next nine years, including developing a new 1.2m teu container terminal to alongside the port’s existing 350,000 teu capacity terminal.
The contract is a big turnaround for the United Arab Emirates. Compatriot DP World’s bid to run terminals in the US were thwarted by politicians a decade ago. Gulftainer already has one port concession in the US, at Port Canaveral in Florida, which it won in 2015.
“We are keen to position Wilmington as the major gateway port to the US Mid-Atlantic states,” Badr Jafar, chairman of Gulftainer’s executive board, said.