Mumbai ports offshore container terminal likely be ready this fiscal

Written by Nikita Upadhyay | Nikita Upadhyay | Mumbai | Updated: Apr 4 2011, 09:01am hrs
The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is expecting its container traffic to improve as its offshore container terminal (OCT) project gets ready in financial year 2011-12.

At present, of the total traffic that the port handles, estimated to be around 58 million tonnes in financial year 2010-11, containerised cargo comprises only a small portion.

A majority of the containerised cargo goes to JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port), since MbPT has draft of about 10-10.5 metres, which is incapable of handling larger ships. On completion, its capacity initially will be about 12 million TEUs and will be later increased as per demand, Shree Kant Singh, deputy chairman, MbPT, told FE.

The project would enable the port to handle large size container vessels and facilitate Mumbai port to bridge the capacity gap in Mumbai region, along with JNPT. Also, it would provide a cost effective and efficient gateway for imports and exports for industries in the special economic zone (SEZ).

At the moment, dredging is being done for the OCT terminal to accommodate and handle larger ships of 6,000 TEUs and above. The terminal will be 800 metres inside sea and the draft after completion will be about 14.5 metres deep. The OCT project is being implemented on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.

Being developed under public-private partnership (PPP) basis, the terminal is coming up under license agreement by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and the BOT operator a consortium of Gammon India, Gammon Infrastructure and Dragados SPL, Spain.

The OCT project will incur an investment of about R1,460 crore for which funds have already been tied up and the work is in progress. With the demand of containersied goods increasing in India, the port had planned this terminal in 2007, Singh said.

The only hindrance to the work has been the vessel collisions that led to dredging work getting stalled and thus impacting the entire project as a chain reaction. Last year, it was Khalijia and MSC Chitra, and this year, merchant ship MV Nordlake had collided with an Indian naval vessel, hindering work.

The project was amongst various activities listed by the MbPT in its business plan which was prepared by consulting firm KPMG. The report is submitted by them at the end of March 2007 and is accepted by the port.