The Indian government approved plans to create a new port on the west coast north of Mumbai that they contend when completed will become one of the world’s top 10 ports. The Vadhavan Port is designed to increase capacity and be part of a vital trade corridor between India, the Middle East, and Europe.

The location which is less than 100 miles north of Mumbai is critical as the region only has two ports currently. The Mumbai port is constricted in growth capacity by the city and has a lower natural draft, while the Jawaharlal Nehru Port primarily handles containers. Vadhavan has a natural draft of up to 20 meters (65 feet) so that it can handle the largest ships in the world. It will be an all-cargo port with zones for containers, dry and wet bulk.

An Australian company first proposed a port for the region in 1997, but the project did not proceed. The Indian government began the effort to design Vadhavan in 2015.  Today, the cabinet approved spending more than $9.1 billion for the construction of the port which will be jointly owned by the port authority and Maharashtra Maritime Board.

The port will include nine container terminals, each over 3,200 feet long, four multipurpose berths, including the coastal berth, four liquid cargo berths, a Ro-Ro berth, and a Coast Guard berth.

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The government will reclaim 1,448 hectares of sea area and construct over six miles of offshore breakwater and container or cargo storage areas. The port will have a total annual capacity to handle nearly 300 million tons of cargo. By 2035, they expect the port will handle 15 million TEU annually and grow to 23 million TEU by 2040.

It is one of the most ambitious projects proposed by the government of recently re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is part of a vision to make India into an industrial powerhouse and first-world trading partner.

Source: The Maritime Executive


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Issue 91 of Robban Assafina

(May/ June 2024)


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