DP World (DPW), which won the contract last October to develop its second container facility with an annual capacity of 800,000 teu at JN Port, has been unable to start construction because of the ‘invasion’ by mangroves.
The concession was awarded after DPW agreed to share 28% of its annual revenue with the government-controlled port. The Dubai operator was required to sign the concession within 30 days of issue of a so-called ‘letter of award’ but has said that it can’t sign unless the issue is sorted out.
Fifteen hectares of the 27 ha site, to be used for container storage, are now covered by mangroves, with local laws forbidding construction in ‘environmental areas such vegetation’, which acts as a flood control mechanism for the island city.
JN port will now apply to the Ministry of Environment and Forests seeking permission to cut the mangroves and replant it at an alternate location. If permission is denied, then an alternate site will be offered to the operator.
The project was granted environmental clearance in July 2008 but delays in awarding the contract due to court cases related to the auction necessitated an extension.