DPI Terminals earmarks US$1b for regional investments

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 July, 2005, 12:00am

DPI Terminals is prepared to spend up to US$1 billion on new terminal projects and upgrading assets as it looks to secure its foothold in Asia, according to Anil Wats, its top executive in the region.

Just months after paying almost US$1.4 billion for the global port assets of United States rail giant CSX Corp, including terminal projects at four ports in Greater China, DPI is back on the acquisition trail, Mr Wats said.

'We are exploring several projects in the region, but there is a focus on China,' he told the South China Morning Post. 'In terms of upgrading present assets and future acquisitions, over the lifetime of the projects, we are probably looking at [investing] up to US$1 billion.'

The projects could take the form of acquisitions, concessions or joint ventures, he said, adding to the firm's port assets in Hong Kong and a trio of ventures in the northern Bohai Rim at Tianjin, Qingdao and Yantai.

Mr Wats said Shanghai's new US$12 billion deepwater port at Yangshan was one target. 'We are looking at it,' he said, adding that any involvement would probably be in Phase III or later.

China's state planners are expected to announce the winning bid for Yangshan Phase II, and the port's first foreign investors in the next few weeks.