February 11 - Port of Antwerp International (PAI), a subsidiary of Antwerp Port Authority, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Essar Ports in which the two parties declare their intention of collaborating as strategic partners in port deve

The collaboration will be in the fields of consultancy, investment, training and development of commercial relations. The MoU was signed by Rajiv Agarwal, CEO of Essar Ports, and by Marc Van Peel and Yannick Dufraimont, respectively chairman and CEO of PAI.

Essar Ports is one of the largest private port operators in India, already active in four ports on the country's East and West coasts. It now aims to further expand and diversify its port operations, for which it seeks the support of PAI. "We are very satisfied with PAI as a partner," said Agarwal. "Antwerp is a world-class port with a strong management model. We will make use of this know-how to further develop our activities in India."

PAI for its part sees Essar Ports as a strong, reliable partner for the development of port activities in India, one of the strategic regions for PAI. "Essar Ports is a highly regarded partner with the necessary know-how in India, which we can take advantage of in our projects," said Van Peel.

Both Essar Ports and PAI will concentrate in the first instance on the port of Hazira and future port developments in the Indian state of Gujarat. Both parties agree upon the importance of this state as a hub in the future distribution from goods to and from India. They will also look at possibilities for overseas collaboration.

Another important part of the collaboration will be joint training of port professionals. In this area PAI will call upon APEC/Flanders Port Training Center, another Port Authority subsidiary specialising in tailor-made maritime training.