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Sun 18 Sep 2011 03:24 PM

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UAE’s Gulftainer to invest $275m in Russian port

Firm to develop and operate Ust-Luga port, to tap rising volumes of Baltic trade

UAE’s Gulftainer to invest $275m in Russian port
The deal will see Ust-Luga port expand to challenge larger rivals such as St Petersburg (pictured)

UAE-based port operator Gulftainer plans to invest more than
$275m, to develop and operate a port near the Russian city of St Petersburg,
the company said Sunday.

The deal will see the Gulftainer, the Middle East’s largest
privately-owned port operator, expand Ust-Luga Port to challenge larger rival
St Petersburg, as trade in the Baltic Sea grows.

Badr Jafar, vice chairman of Gulftainer, said the port was
well-placed to play a key role in driving Russia’s economic growth.

“The Baltic Western region will play a vital role, handling
as it does around 60 percent of Russian container volumes,” he said in an
emailed statement.

Gulftainer last September signed a joint venture agreement
with Prominvest,
the financial and investment arm of the state corporation, Russian Technologies,
to pursue investment and management opportunities.

The company, Gulftainer Russian Technologies, also said
it would establish a $500m fund to acquire port and logistic assets in Russia
and the region.

Gulftainer is a subsidiary of the Sharjah-based Crescent
group of companies and the largest private port and logistics operator in the
Middle East.

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