Maharashtra’s New Rs 76,220 Crore Vadhavan Port Construction Set To Begin Soon

The ambitious Vadhavan port project in Maharashtra is on the verge of starting construction. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) are gearing up to initiate the first phase with an initial investment of Rs 13,000 crore.

The port’s construction will occur in two phases. The first phase, expected to be completed by 2029, will have a capacity of handling 15 million TEUs. The second phase is projected to be finished between 2035 and 2039.

Unmesh Wagh, chairman of JNPA, announced that the total project cost is estimated at Rs 76,220 crore, with the first phase requiring Rs 50,000 crore. “The construction is scheduled to commence immediately after the monsoon season, starting with road development,” Wagh stated.

Located near Dahanu in Palghar district, the project aims to reclaim 1,448 hectares of land from the sea, positioning it as one of the world’s largest ports upon completion.

“We are exploring various funding options, including loans and public-private partnerships (PPP), to meet the remaining financial requirements,” Wagh added, according to a report by The Hindu.

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

Vadhavan Port: An Overview

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

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

Designed to handle 24 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually, the port will include nine terminals, with four in the initial phase. Each terminal will span approximately one kilometer in length and will have specialized berths for diverse needs such as roll-on/roll-off (RoRo), Coast Guard operations, and liquid cargo.

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

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

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