Monday, February 24, 2020

As Environmental Woes Sweep the Country UAE Group Snaps Up Key River Port

Continued Expansion for Container and Logistics Specialist
Shipping News Feature

CANADA – It seems DP World is to continue its policy of expansion after the port and logistics group announced it has completed the acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks, the facility which, once again a key transition point for container freight, has seen some turbulent times in the past two decades.

Fraser Surrey Docks was founded in the early 1960s and claims the title of the largest modern and multi-purpose terminal on the West Coast of North America. It operates more than 1,200 metres of berth, 189 acres of yard and is one of the region's major steel import terminals. It moves approximately one million tonnes of agriproducts annually and serves several container lines, handling over 350,000 TEU in 2019.

DP World has acquired the docks from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP) alongside its partner Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and means the UAE based group now has terminal operations in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert and St. John's. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said:

"The acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks bolsters our footprint in the west coast of Canada. DP World has been seeing growing demand from our customers for multi-purpose facilities in the region and we believe Fraser Surrey Docks has the relevant infrastructure and is in the right location to service this demand. We are confident that our innovative approach will bring DP World's best-in-class terminal operations to Fraser Surrey Docks."

The docks lie on the Fraser River in British Columbia, already a centre of unrest over environmental matters, particularly the ‘Shut Down Canada’ movement. The Fraser River is the longest in British Columbia and particularly sensitive when environmental matters are under scrutiny.

After the loss of the CP Ships business, its principal customer, to the Port of Vancouver in 2006, the docks set their sights on a contentious coal facility whereby ocean going vessels could load coal bound for Asia directly rather than transfer from barges. This scheme was finally thrown out in 2015 with objectors saying the project would have produced seven million tonnes of CO2 annually as US coal from Wyoming passed through the region.

Now this new deal is part of DP World's global cooperation with CDPQ which it partnered with in 2016 to create a US$3.7-billion platform to invest in ports and terminals worldwide. Since then it is claimed the partnership has leveraged DP World's strong track record in the port sector and CDPQ's in-house infrastructure expertise to grow a high-quality portfolio of 10 ports and terminals across the globe, including locations in Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic and Australia. DP World holds 55% of the platform and CDPQ holds the remaining 45%. Matt Leech, CEO and Managing Director, DP World Americas, commented:

"This new addition to DP World's portfolio provides unique prospects for additional growth in the dynamic Canadian business environment. We look forward to helping Fraser Surrey reach its full potential and generating greater value over the long-term for DP World and its customers."

DP World has now been a significant investor in Canada. As the operator of three terminals on Canada's West Coast, the company says it provides a key gateway between Asia and the Pacific North West and looks forward to Fraser Surrey becoming the leading stevedore and general cargo operator in Canada. DP World (Canada) Inc. General Manager, Maksim Mihic, noted:

"DP World strives to create positive impacts for our people, our customers and the communities in which we operate. The addition of the Fraser Surrey Docks will create new jobs, and provide overall economic benefit to our community, the Province of British Columbia and to Canada as a whole."