Major Ports’ Perspective: Key projects in the pipeline

Key projects in the pipeline

Major ports are taking steps to augment capacity, ensure faster evacuation and improve productivity. However, issues like delays in obtaining clearances for major projects and high dredging costs continue to hinder project execution.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) handled 4.47 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2014-15, about 39 per cent of India’s total container traffic. The port has well-developed infrastructure – three container terminals with a capacity of 4.35 million TEUs; a twin-berth liquid cargo terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (6.5 mtpa capacity); and a shallow draught berth of 445 meters to handle feeder container vessels, dry bulk cargo vessels and other general cargo vessels (0.15 million TEUs for containers and 0.9 million tonnes [mt] for other cargo).

The port is taking various initiatives for improving the ease of doing business. The requirement for the physical submission of various forms was removed in February 2015. For example, physical submission of Form 13 for import containers was no longer necessary, after February 2, 2015. The requirement for the physical submission of forms for export containers was also removed, with effect from February 15, 2015. The physical submission of Form 11 for export containers has also been done away with, since February 19, 2015.

The JNPT container terminal has introduced an online berthing system. Once the VIA number is allotted to the vessel operating agency, they have to follow certain steps for the online allotment of berths. Further, radio frequency identification-based gate automation is being implemented at all three terminals.

Going forward, the port has major capacity addition plans on the anvil. Steps are being taken to improve port connectivity.

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Mumbai port

In January 2016, Mumbai port inaugurated a second chemical berth with a capacity of 2.5 mt. The draught of the chemical berth is designed to be 12.8 metres. Firefighting equipment has also been installed. The only issue that remains is that a few private firms are yet to fix the marine loading arms. Once those are in place, the berth will be fully operational. Partial operations started from September 2015 and the port has handled about 0.25 mt of chemicals since.

At Mumbai port, the major problem is that of evacuation. To resolve this, the port authority is planning only those projects that can increase traffic at the port, without adding to the traffic on city roads. One of the biggest projects to come up at the port is the 5 mt floating storage-cum-regasification unit in Uran. The port has already shortlisted three bidders. The final request for proposal (RfP) is expected to be issued soon.

Another major project is the development of the fifth oil berth at Jawahar Dweep for BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited refineries. Once the security clearance is obtained, the contract for dredging will be awarded. The civil engineering contract has already been invited.

The Rani Jadhav Committee has submitted its report for utilising Mumbai port’s huge land bank. Once the report is approved by the Ministry of Shipping, the eastern waterfront will be developed as a major tourism spot. Meanwhile, the port has floated tenders for leasing land for the setting up a terminal building for a roll-on roll-off passenger operation and recreation facility at the ferry wharf. There are also plans to connect the ferry wharf (Bhaucha Dhakka) with Mandva and Nerul, to reduce travel time. w

Based on remarks by Anil Diggikar, Chairman, JNPT; and R.M. Parmar, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust (now Chairman, Kandla Port Trust)