The Union Cabinet, in its meeting last week, has given its ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up a major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra. For the project which would entail an investment of over Rs 60,000 crore, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed. Country’s leading container port Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) will be the lead partner of this SPV.
The SPV will develop the port infrastructure including reclamation, construction of breakwater, besides establishing connectivity to the hinterland. All the business activities would be undertaken under PPP mode by private developers. The proposed port will have a much deeper draft accommodating the largest Container Ships in the world and also cater to the spill over traffic from JNPT port once its planned capacity of 10 million TEUs is fully utilized. JNPT and Mundra, the two largest container handling ports of the country (for mid size container ships only), have drafts of 15 M and 16 M respectively, while the world’s largest container handling modern deep draft ports require a draft of 18M-20M. The Vadhavan port has a natural draft of about 20 meters close to the shore, making it possible for it to handle bigger vessels at the port. Development of Vadhavan port will enable call of container vessels of 16,000-25,000 TEUs capacity, giving advantages of economies of scale & reducing logistics cost.