Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), the flagship of India-based Adani Group, is in the lead to develop the halted East Container Terminal at Colombo port in Sri Lanka.

APSEZ and a local partner have secured in-principle approval to sign a deal with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, reported Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

In the currently stalled project, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will hold a majority stake.

Details regarding holding of the stakes are being established, following a review of the project.

A preliminary agreement for the project was signed by Adani in 2019. However, labour union protests due to concerns over foreign control had stopped the deal before parliamentary elections in August.

Following protests, the Sri Lankan Government had announced a review.

The project is being jointly developed by Sri Lanka, India, and Japan.

Last week, Sri Lanka Port Authority commenced operations at parts of the East Container Terminal that were constructed.

In October, APSEZ completed the previously announced acquisition of Krishnapatnam Port Company (KPCL) for Rs120bn ($1.63bn).

With the deal, Adani Ports now has a 75% stake in KPCL from the CVR Group and other stakeholders.

The port is expected to generate approximately Rs12bn ($163m) in EBITDA.

In July, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) granted its approval for Adani Ports’ acquisition of KPCL.

Last year, APSEZ had signed an agreement to develop a $275m container terminal at Myanmar’s Yangon port.