Abundant Opportunities: Effective and timely project execution key to success

Effective and timely project execution key to success

The port sector has seen rapid growth in the past three years in terms of policies and regulations, incentives and schemes, and project uptake. The government has approved the long-awaited amendments to the model concession agreement (MCA) for public-private partnership (PPP) projects at the major ports. A bailout plan for stressed PPP projects at the major ports, amendments to the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016, and extension of the Coastal Berth Scheme for three years were the other major policies announced by the government.

There is also increased focus on the implementation of capacity expansion and greenfield port development projects. Many private developers are considering deploying new technologies to improve cargo handling and port efficiency. The sector is also developing dedicated terminals, coastal shipping and cruise tourism to diversify the revenue base in light of the growing competition among Indian ports.

In this backdrop, Indian Infrastructure takes a look at some select ports and their key ongoing and upcoming infrastructure creation and expansion plans…

Jaigarh port (JSW Jaigarh Port Limited)

Located strategically between the two major ports of Mumbai (365 km) and Goa (250 km), Jaigarh port’s existing cargo handling capacity is about 50 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). The concession agreement between the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) and JSW Jaigarh Port Limited was signed on June 24, 2008, with a licence period of 50 years. The port was inaugurated on August 22, 2009. With six berths and 18 metres of available draught, Jaigarh port is the preferred port for its primary hinterland of south Maharashtra, north Karnataka and north west Andhra Pradesh. In March 2017, the port received M.V. China Enterprises, the largest bulk parcel to have been handled in the country so far. The capacity of the port will be expanded to 80 mtpa by 2020.

In order to enhance connectivity to the port, many initiatives have been taken. The foundation stone for the 33.7 km long Jaigarh Digni railway line has already been laid. Investment in the project will flow via a special purpose vehicle with JSW Jaigarh Port Limited holding a 63 per cent equity stake, Konkan Railway Corporation Limited holding 26 per cent and MMB holding 11 per cent. Two other railway lines have been planned – the Chiplun-Karad and Kolhapur-Vaibhwadi lines. A 42 km road connectivity project linking Jaigarh port and Nivali has been inaugrated. Four-laning of State Highway-106 (Jaigarh-Nivali highway) is also under planning by the National Highways Authority of India.

The port also has dedicated terminals for handling coal, iron ore, agricultural products, fertilisers, and petroleum oil and lubricants. In May 2018, India’s first floating storage regasification unit-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal was inaugurated at Jaigarh port. Further, another three dedicated terminals are being set up to handle LNG (4 mtpa), liquefied petroleum gas (1.2 mtpa) and containers (Phase I: 0.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units [TEUs]; Phase II: 1.2 million TEUs). All three terminals are likely to be operational by the first quarter of 2019-20.

Coastal movement of specially designed mini bulk carriers between Jaigarh and Dharamtar has also been initiated to support the Dolvi steel plant. In the next couple of years, 30 mini bulk carriers (18 carriers of 8,000 tonnes and 12 carriers of 6,000 tonnes) will ply between Jaigarh and Dharamtar.

Other ports under JSW’s ambit are South West port, Dharamtar port and Fujairah port. A part of South West port, the South West port terminal is a fully mechanised facility equipped with grab unloaders, mobile harbour crane and conveyor systems. By 2020, the capacity of the terminal will be expanded to 15 mtpa from the existing 10 mtpa. Dharamtar port has an existing capacity of 15 mtpa which is expected to be increased to 40 mtpa by 2020. JSW Infrastructure Limited also operates a bulk terminal at Fujairah port, and is planning to increase the handling capacity of the terminal from 20 mtpa to 24 mtpa.

Non-major ports (under the Maharashtra Maritime Board)

The cargo handled by the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB)-operated non-major ports increased from 25 million tonnes (mt) in 2013-14 to 38 mt in 2017-18. Passenger handling also displayed an increasing trend with 1.5 million passengers added during the period 2013-14 to 2017-18.

With regard to infrastructure, MMB is developing a shipyard cluster at Belapur. This facility will be equipped with proper road connectivity and a dredged waterway. Further, there are plans to develop ferry terminals at Nariman Point, Bandra, Juhu, Versova, Marve and Borivali along with deployment of catamaran vessels. A passenger jetty with a length of 547 metres has been proposed at Apollo Bunder. The major components include a passenger terminal building and driveway, four passenger jetties, floating berths and a central platform.

Further, a ro-pax water transport service project from Ferry Wharf (Mumbai) to Mandwa (Alibaug) is in progress. MMB has taken up this project jointly with the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). The distance to be travelled via the waterway is 17.42 km as against 113 km by road. At present, the marine infrastructure and terminal infrastructure is in place, the required dredging has been undertaken, and selection of a ro-pax-cum-terminal operator is under way.

A range of opportunities emerging on the coast of Maharashtra are up for grabs. These span across areas such as greenfield ports, captive jetties, multi-purpose jetties, inland water transport, coastal shipping, shipbuilding and

ship repair, coastal tourism, hydrographic surveys and investigations, dredging, and maritime education. For the development of greenfield ports, incentives such as 100 per cent upfront exemptions on royalty charges on minor minerals, non-agricultural assessment charges and port dues; 100 per cent exemptions on electricity duty and stamp duty, and concessional power tariff at industrial rates are being offered.

Mumbai port

Mumbai port’s expansion plans include development of cruise tourism, sea tourism and water transport. With 40 cruises in 2017-18, the number of cruises is expected to reach 300 by the year 2020-21. For development of a cruise and tourism hub, the port trust has set a target to increase the number of passengers handled from 56,000 to 3.2 million and the number of ships from 40 to 700.

With regard to infrastructure development, civil works for the domestic cruise terminal have been completed and are in progress for the international cruise terminal. Other action areas include tie-ups with cruise lines and ports, resolving taxation issues and tourism preparation. Mumbai port has taken various initiatives such as guaranteeing berths for cruise ships, removing ousting-priority charges, and introducing composite discounted tariffs from November 3, 2017 ($0.35 per gross registered tonnage for a 12 hour stay).

Besides these projects, operators have been selected for three water taxi routes (Ferry Wharf-Karanja-Revas-Dharamtal, Ferry Wharf-Belapur and Ferry Wharf-Kahnoji Angre Island). For the development of a captive jetty on the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT)-New Airport route, the location has been identified and civil engineering studies are in progress.

In a nutshell

For effective and timely execution of port projects, the process for obtaining clearances, land acquisition, etc., needs to be fast-tracked. The creation of adequate support infrastructure (connectivity, draught, etc.) as well as access to finance will be a key enabler for projects. In the next few years, prospects appear bright for developers, contractors, and technology and equipment providers. However, issues that restrict private participation and delay project implementation need to be addressed to maintain the growth momentum in the sector. w

Based on presentations by Captain Anurag Bhagauliwal, Associate Vice President and Unit Head, Dharamtar Port, JSW Infrastructure; Commander Sandeep Kumar, Hydrographer, Maharashtra Maritime Board; and N.G. Mirajkar, Deputy Chief Engineer, Mumbai Port Trust, at a recent India Infrastructure conference