Strong Performance: Profiles of key private non-major ports

Profiles of key private non-major ports

Gujarat is a leading maritime state with its non-major ports accounting for 73 per cent of the total traffic handled at all non-major ports in the country. The state also has the highest number of operational commercial cargo private ports in the country. Pipavav, Mundra, Dahej and Hazira are the key private ports in the state and handle about 150 million tonnes (mt) of cargo, which accounted for about 44 per cent of the total traffic registered at non-major ports in Gujarat in 2015-16.

A brief snapshot of the four private non-major ports…


Pipavav is the country’s first private port. The port project was executed by Gujarat Pipavav Port Limited (GPPL), which is promoted by APM Terminals, one of the world’s leading terminal and port operators and a part of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group. Pipavav operates as an all-weather port and is located on the southwest coast of Gujarat, 140 km southwest of Bhavnagar. It lies on the important maritime trade route which connects India with international destinations such as the Far East, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the US. The port has been operational since 1996 and has a 725 metre long multi-purpose berth for handling solid bulk, two container berths and one liquid berth.

During 2015-16, the port completed a capacity augmentation project, increasing its container handling capacity from 0.85 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to 1.35 million TEUs. The cost of the project was about Rs 4.6 billion. The investment was used for the acquisition of new cranes, strengthening existing berths, dredging works, and the improvement of the container yard and internal roads at the port.

For financial year 2015-16, the total income of GPPL stood at Rs 6.84 billion, while the net profit stood at Rs 2.36 billion.

During the same period, the total container traffic handled by the port was 0.69 million TEUs as compared to 0.98 million TEUs handled during the 15-month period ended March 31, 2015. The company handled bulk volumes of 2.48 mt during 2015-16 as compared to 4.64 mt handled during the 15-month period ended March 31, 2015.

In March 2016, a UAE-based bunker supplier, the Gulf Petrochem Group, began bunkering operations at the port. Presently, Gulf Petrochem’s fuel oil tankage capacity for its bunkering business at Pipavav is around 30,000 kilolitres.

Further, during 2015-16, over 19,000 cars were exported from Pipavav port. In July 2014, APM Terminals had entered into an agreement with NYK Auto Logistics India Private Limited for the construction of a roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) terminal at the port. The first ro-ro vessel, M.V. Grand Dahlia, berthed at the port on August 26, 2015 and loaded 1,300 vehicles. The terminal has a capacity of handling 250,000 vehicles annually. With the commencement of ro-ro services, the port is expected to improve the utilisation of the existing container berths.


Mundra port, one of the largest private ports in the country, is located north of the Gulf of Kutch near Mundra in Gujarat. The port was incorporated in 1998 and began operations in 2001. It was formerly operated by Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Limited owned by the Adani Group  and was later incorporated into Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZL).

Mundra is one of the deepest ports in the country, with draught ranging from 14 to 18 metres in the channel and from 12.8 to 17.5 metres at the berths.

The port is capable of handling a variety of cargo such as bulk cargo (coal, wheat, fertilisers, minerals, ores and steel), petroleum products, container cargo, automobiles and crude oil.

Mundra is well connected to the Indian Railway network by a privately developed 64 km rail line that connects the port to the nearest station at Adipur.

As of March 31, 2016, the total cargo handling capacity of the port stood at 185 mt. During 2015-16, Mundra port handled total cargo of 109.02 mt as compared to 110.91 mt in 2014-15. Container traffic handled at the port was 2.99 million TEUs during 2015-16 as compared to 2.72 million TEUs in 2014-15.

In the past year, Mundra has taken a number of initiatives on the technology front. The Mundra International Container Terminal successfully migrated terminal operations to the DP World-developed Terminal Operating System – ZODIAC. The operating system has been deployed to facilitate the ease of doing business, and is expected to enhance the efficiency of terminal operations.

The port also implemented a port community system from February 1, 2016. During 2015-16, APSEZL took delivery of three new rail-mounted gantry cranes for container terminals at Mundra. The installation of new cranes is a part of the initiative to enhance handling capabilities of the inland container depot-bound containers at the port.

In 2014-15, the turnaround time and pre-berthing time (on port account) at Mundra port stood at 1.53 days and 8.64 hours respectively.

Meanwhile, several other capacity augmentation projects are in the pipeline. The fourth container terminal with a capacity of 1.3 million TEUs is currently under construction, and is expected to start operations by 2017. The terminal is being developed by France-based CMA CGM Group. The port is also planning to develop a fifth container terminal in the future.


The solid cargo handling terminal at Dahej port has been developed by Adani Petronet (Dahej) Port Private Limited (APPPL), a joint venture (JV) of the Adani Group and Petronet LNG Limited. Cargo handling operations at the port commenced in August 2010. The port has fully mechanised berths with a conveyor handling system for coal.

At present, Dahej has two deep draught berths capable of handling Capesize vessels with a total cargo handling capacity of 12 mt. The port mainly handles dry bulk, break bulk and project cargo. The port has good road and rail connectivity. A 42 km long four-lane highway connects Dahej with Bharuch. A special purpose vehicle, Bharuch Dahej Railway Company Limited was set up with the objective of gauge conversion of the 63 km narrow gauge railway line between Bharuch and Dahej. The broad gauge railway line was operationalised in March 2012.

During 2015-16, the port handled 8.19 mt of cargo as compared to 12.42 mt in 2014-15. Further, APPPL has expansion plans on the anvil. The Phase III expansion of Dahej port involves an investment of Rs 4.64 billion and will increase cargo handling capacity of the port to 23 million tonnes per annum. In November 2016, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change granted environmental and coastal regulation zone clearance for the expansion project. The clearance has been granted to APPPL subject to certain conditions such as carrying out construction activities strictly according to the provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011; preserving the existing mangroves patches; ensuring free flow of water to avoid damage to the mangroves; ensuring no blocking of creeks and rivers due to construction activities; etc.


Hazira port is situated on the west coast, about 25 km from Surat city and about 250 km from Mumbai. The port has been built by Hazira Port Private Limited (HPPL), a JV between Shell Gas B.V. and Total Gaz Electricité Holdings France. The port is strategically located, just 25 km away from the Delhi-Mumbai railway line and about 40 km from National Highway-8. The port also provides an international gateway to Europe, Africa, the US and the Middle East.

In 2009, Adani Hazira Port Private Limited (AHPPL) was granted rights for the development of Phase 1B of Hazira port, wherein all non-liquefied natural gas (LNG) commodities such as containers, liquid bulk and break bulk are handled by AHPPL, while the LNG terminal is handled by HPPL. AHPPL commenced operations in January 2012 and currently operates two container berths and three multi-purpose berths in the non-LNG port area. The current draught level at the port is 14 metres.

AHPPL, which has a capacity 25 mtpa, handled 12.27 mt of cargo during 2015-16 as compared to 7.19 mt in 2014-15.


Private ports have been an engine of growth for the Gujarat maritime sector. The growth has been driven by higher efficiency levels, deeper draught, good hinterland connectivity and a diversified cargo portfolio. With significant capacity augmentation plans on the anvil, their share in total traffic is expected to increase further.