NEW DELHI: In a counterbalance to China’s growing influence in the region, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will be funding $553 million for a deepwater shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo that Adani Ports is developing as a JV. Colombo West International Terminal Pvt Ltd (CWIT), a consortium of Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd (APSEZ)., Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings (JKH) and the Sri LankaPorts Authority, is developing the terminal on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis for 35 years.The fact that this is the first time a US government agency is funding an Adani project comes as reprieve to the conglomerate that has been facing questions since the Hindenburg allegations earlier this year.
Describing it as a “transformative West Container Terminal project in Colombo”, Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani said: “This initiative is set to generate significant employment opportunities, boost economic growth, and enhance regional shipping capacity. The Adani Group is proud to be a part of this journey.”

APSEZ whole time director and CEO Karan Adani said: “We welcome the association of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the US government’s development finance institution, in funding the Adani project – and we see this as a reaffirmation by the international community of our vision, our capabilities and our governance. As one of the world’s largest port developers and operators, APSEZ brings to this project not only our proven world-class expertise but also our deep experience in infrastructure creation. When completed, Colombo West International Terminal project will transform the socio-economic landscape, not just in Colombo but across the island, through thousands of direct and indirect new employment opportunities and by massively boosting Sri Lanka’s trade and commerce ecosystem.”
The Port of Colombo is the largest and busiest transshipment port in the Indian Ocean. It has been operating at over 90% utilisation since 2021, indicating requirement for additional capacity. The new terminal will cater to growing economies in the Bay of Bengal, taking advantage of Sri Lanka’s prime position on major shipping routes and its proximity to these expanding markets, the group said.
DFC CEO Mr Scott Nathan said: “DFC works to drive private sector investments that advance development and economic growth while strengthening the strategic positions of our partners. That’s what we’re delivering with this infrastructure investment in the Port of Colombo. Sri Lanka is one of the world’s key transit hubs, with half of all container ships transiting through its waters. DFC’s commitment of $553 million in private-sector loans for the West Container Terminal will expand its shipping capacity, creating greater prosperity for Sri Lanka – without adding to sovereign debt – while at the same time strengthening the position of our allies across the region.”
US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung said: “The $553 million investment by DFC for the long-term development of the Port of Colombo’s West Container Terminal will facilitate private sector-led growth in Sri Lanka and attract crucial foreign exchange inflows during its economic recovery. Sri Lanka regaining its economic footing will further our shared vision for a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
The development of Colombo West International Terminal (CWIT) “will reinforce Colombo Port’s position as the primary hub in the region and is expected to elevate its ranking to 20th among the world’s top container terminals. It will also transform the port’s position in terms of global shipping connectivity, which is currently 12th globally. When commissioned, CWIT will be the largest and deepest container terminal in Sri Lanka. With a quay length of 1,400 m and an alongside depth of 20 m, CWIT will be equipped to handle ultra large container vessels with capacities of 24,000 TEUs. The new terminal’s annual cargo handling capacity is likely to exceed 3.2 million TEUs,” Adani group said in a statement.
APSEZ, India’s largest port developer and operator, has with six ports and terminals on the west coast of India and five on the east coast. It is developing two transshipment ports at Vizhinjam and Colombo.

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