Construction Of Rs 76,220 Crore Vadhavan Port In Maharashtra Set To Begin Soon

V Bhagya Subhashini

Jul 08, 2024, 12:54 PM | Updated 12:54 PM IST

Once completed, it will become India's largest container port by both capacity and draft (harbour depth). (JNPT)
Once completed, it will become India's largest container port by both capacity and draft (harbour depth). (JNPT)

The construction of the ambitious Vadhavan port project in Maharashtra is set to begin soon. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) plan to kick-start its first phase with an initial investment of Rs 13,000 crore.

The port will be constructed in two phases, with the first phase scheduled for completion by 2029, capable of handling 15 million TEUs. The second phase will be finished between 2035 and 2039.

Unmesh Wagh, chairman of JNPA, revealed that the total project cost is estimated at Rs 76,220 crore, with phase one requiring Rs 50,000 crore.

"The construction is scheduled to commence immediately after the monsoon season, starting with road development," Wagh stated.

The project, located near Dahanu in Palghar district, aims to reclaim 1448 hectares of land from the sea, making it one of the world's largest ports once completed.

"We are exploring various funding options, including loans and public-private partnerships (PPP), to meet the remaining financial requirements," Wagh added, reports The Hindu.

Wagh stated that land acquisition for the port itself will not be necessary, as the entire operational area will be created through land reclamation. However, an additional 571 acres will be required for constructing necessary access roads, which will be facilitated by the National Highway Authority of India.

Vadhavan Port

First conceived 60 years ago, the Vadhavan port will be located along the Arabian coast, approximately 5 kilometres north of Mumbai. Once completed, it will become India's largest container port by both capacity and draft (harbour depth).

The port will boast a natural draft of 20 metres, surpassing the current maximum draft of 15.5 metres at Jawaharlal Nehru Port, India’s largest container port. This deeper draft will facilitate the berthing of mega shipping vessels, reducing the need for dredging and lowering operational costs.

The port, designed to handle 24 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually, will feature nine terminals, including four in the initial phase. Each terminal will span approximately one kilometre in length, with specialised berths catering to diverse needs such as roll-on/roll-off (RoRo), Coast Guard operations, and liquid cargo.

Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted the strategic importance of Vadhavan port. He emphasised its role in the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) and noted that 37 per cent of India’s trade with Europe, North America, and Russia currently transits through the Suez Canal.

Vadhavan port- IMEC
Vadhavan port- IMEC

The new port would also alleviate congestion at Jawaharlal Nehru Port, which faces cargo evacuation constraints due to urban development and limited harbour depths.

V Bhagya Subhashini is a staff writer at Swarajya. She tracks infrastructure developments.

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