The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the over ₹76,000 crore Vadhavan deep-sea port project, off Mumbai, on the West Coast of India. The greenfield port, to be constructed in two phases with a total capacity of 23.2 million TEUs, will be a key part of India’s IMEEEC project (India Middle East Europe Economic Connectivity).

According to Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), Vadhavan port will act as the main feeder port for IMEEEC. It will also propel cargo-movement to Chabahar Port in Iran and to International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

The port will have a draft of 20 meters thereby allowing mega vessels of 24,000 TEUs to be handled.

Due to its efficient connectivity to hinterland, the cost of logistics will reduce and there is an estimated potential cost saving of $50 to $100 per TEU.

“Vadhavan port with its proposed deep draft and strategic positioning along a prime trade route, is equipped to function as a transhipment port,” Sonowal said.

Road and Rail Connectivity

Road connectivity to the port will be via National Highway-48 and Delhi Mumbai Expressway. The road network will connect it to parts of North and Central India.

The Mumbai-Delhi Western Railway Line and the upcoming Western Dedicated Freight Corridor is located 12 km from the port.

The port will be built on a landlord-model and through PPP.

Investment Details

The first phase of construction is to be completed by 2030 will see capacity creation of 15 million TEUs; while the remaining 8.2 million TEUs will come-up in phase–II that is expected to be completed by 2040.

A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Vadhavan Ports Projects Ltd has been created with 74 per cent equity stake of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and 26 per cent equity stake with Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB).

The SPV will invest ₹38,976 crore in constructing basic infrastructure while the private sector is likely to invest around ₹37,244 crore.

The SPV will spend ₹21,267 crore on Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode for creating basic infrastructure like breakwater, shore protection works, approach trestles, port buildings, internal roads etc. Another ₹17,709 crore will be infused for dredging and reclamation Work.

The terminal operators to invest ₹37,244 crore for development of berths, terminals, container terminals, Ro-Ro terminal, bulk liquid jetty, among others.

According to Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union I&B Minister, all stakeholders were taken on -board and necessary approval obtained, prior to the Cabinet nod.

“The strategic location of Vadhavan port will play a huge locational advantage for augmenting economic activity of the North, the North West and Central India,” he said.