The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways will invite expressions of interest (EOI) from interested players for a Rs 41,000 crore international transhipment port project at Great Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal.
The ministry in a release on Friday said that the project is expected to be completed with an investment of Rs 41,000 crore (USD 5 billion), including investment from both government and PPP concessionaire.
The EOI will be released on Saturday (January 28).
The proposed port in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands will have ultimate capacity to handle 16 million containers per year and in the first phase, to be commissioned by 2028 at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore, will handle above 4 million containers.
Other projects planned around the transhipment port include airport, township and power plant, it added.
The project is located on the international trade route, with existing transhipment terminals like Singapore, Klang and Colombo in proximity.
According to the statement, the project focuses on three key drivers which can result in making it a leading container transhipment port, i.e. strategic location in terms of proximity (40 nautical miles) with the international shipping trade route, availability of natural water depth of over 20m and carrying capacity of transhipment cargo from all the ports in the proximity including Indian ports.
Holistic development of islands aims to bridge the gaps in infrastructure and improve economic opportunity for rapid increase in size for all types of vessels, from feeders to large inter-continental carriers.
Further, the proposed infrastructure facilities shall be such that the service levels and facilities match with that of the global top container transhipment terminals and neighbouring ports.
The proposed facility is envisaged to be developed in four phases.
The estimated cost for Phase 1 of the proposed transhipment port is around Rs 18,000 crore which includes the construction of breakwaters, dredging, reclamation, berths, storage areas, building and utilities, procurement and installation of equipment and development of port colony with core infrastructure is going to be developed with the government support.
Public Private Partnership (PPP) will be encouraged for this project via landlord mode. The PPP concessionaire shall have the flexibility to develop storage area, container handling equipment and other infrastructure based on concessionaire’s own market and business assessment subject to the Minimum Guaranteed Traffic.
The concessionaire would be awarded a long-term PPP concession of 30 to 50 years (based on requirement), shall be responsible for the provision(s) of port services and shall have the rights to levy, collect and retain charges from port users.
Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “This project will be a major landmark in developing India to become a self-assured and self-reliant nation and will support the economic development of the country.” According to the statement, experts have long maintained that a strong economic case exists for enabling a transhipment hub in India that can attract Indian and regional transhipment traffic from the current hubs.
Currently, nearly 75 per cent of India’s transhipped cargo is handled at ports outside India.
Colombo, Singapore and Klang handle more than 85 per cent of this cargo with 45 per cent of this cargo handled at Colombo port.
“Indian ports can save USD 200-220 million each year on transhipment cargo,” the statement said.
Also, the statement noted that developing Galathea Bay Transhipment Port will accrue significant benefits such as forex savings, foreign direct investment, increased economic activity at other Indian ports, enhanced logistics infrastructure “Additionally, there is a potential of creation of around 1,700-4,000 incremental direct jobs by end of this project,” it said.
The EOI pertaining to ICTP, Galathea Bay will be available at SMPK website https:mportkolkata.shipping.gov.in and https://kopt.enivida.in from 28th January 2023.
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