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New Port Underway in India Projected to Become One of the World’s Largest

The Indian government has approved plans for a new port on India’s western coast, north of Mumbai, which India believes will be among the world’s top 10 ports upon completion.

The Vadhavan Transhipment Port (Vadhavan Port) aims to enhance capacity and serve as a crucial trade corridor linking India with Middle East and Europe. It is believed that this will be a major step towards strengthening India’s global trade connections.

What are the details of the new Indian port?

The Vadhavan port will be located about 150 kilometers from India’s financial capital Mumbai. The construction of the port, with an estimated cost of 762 billion Indian rupees (approximately $9.14 billion) is set to begin soon. The first phase of two is expected to be completed by 2029.

According to Indian Information Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the port will be capable of accommodating “mega vessels” with its terminals for all sorts of imports including petroleum and automobiles with an annual capacity of 298 million metric tons.

“This will be an integral part of India-Middle East corridor.” Vaishnaw said, referencing the plan announced in last September during G20 summit in New Delhi.

The capacity of Vadhavan Port makes a notable improvement compared to the current constraints of Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

The latter predominantly focused on container handling with limited scope for growth. Benefiting from a natural draft up to 20 meters, Vadhavan Port will have the capability to accommodate the largest vessels, distinguishing it from the above two other ports in the region.

During the construction, Vadhavan Port Project Limited (VPPL) will reclaim 1,448 hectares of sea area and construct 10.14 kilometers of offshore breakwater, along with container and cargo storage areas. The port will be an all-cargo port and will include nine container terminals, four multipurpose berths, four liquid cargo berths, a Ro-Ro berth and a coastal Guard berth. They are expecting to handle 15 million TEUs annually by 2035 and eventually increase to 23 million TEUs by 2040.

The idea for a port in this region traces back to 1997 when an Australian company initially proposed it.

India was not a dominant world power at the time, and its economy was different from today. However, serious planning and design for the Vadhavan Port did not commence until 2015 under the Indian government. The port will be co-owned by the port authority and the Maharashtra Maritime Board, underscoring a collaborative approach to this major infrastructure project.

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