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Interview with DP World CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem – Part II

In this final part, of our two-part interview, DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem talks investment in India, sustainability and shipping.

What kind of investments have you made in India and what are your future plans?

We are already working on a number of projects in different cities, such as Cochin and Chennai. We are looking at working on the logistics of other additional related businesses and this is going to reflect in our growth.

READ: The first part of this interview here

In the Middle East, what are your plans for this year?

We are a company that follows our customers very closely. So, we don’t plan; it’s our customers who plan for us. Our customers are very open with us and we plan according to their needs.

What about sustainability and shipping? Do you see any kind of move happening?

Of course. As an industry, we are required to have sustainability. In Jebel Ali, we have installed solar cells. For example, if we are using 30 megawatts of energy, we produce 40 megawatts of it — we produce more. So, for sustainability, we have many projects. In our company, for example, instead of diesel, we use electricity in our ports — there are some that have no diesel at all, only electricity. So sustainability is very important.

READ: ‘Smart technologies will help Dubai become happiest city’

We are seeing that self-driving cars are disrupting land transport — at least, this is the plan. Is there something happening in the shipping industry as well?

This is going to happen — sooner or later. I drive myself and I am happy about it. Many people today drive electric cars because they are basically smarter than the old cars. Now India, for example, has a major problem and we are working with their government to solve such problems, such as how we can make sure that the trucks don’t keep polluting the environment. So, we are looking at waterways for transporting goods and we are looking at trains to connect major cities. I think the move toward sustainability is becoming important and it is economical too.

READ: ‘We’re studying unleashing a new economy from parked cars’

When you look at using diesel in trucks in our ports and terminals, and if you compare it with the cost of a battery on the other hand, it is much cheaper and requires less maintenance. The good thing is that many young people have grown up with concerns about environment and these young people are now in their 30s and they believe in implementing . So, yes, there is a shift and a positive one. This is same in the Gulf — there are concerns about automating things and becoming more sustainable.

This interview first appeared in AMEinfo’s sister publication TRENDS.