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Govt good to go on Rs 41,000 crore mega port project at Great Nicobar Island

Great Nicobar Island

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is working towards development of Mega International Container Transhipment Port (ICTP) at Galathea Bay of Great Nicobar Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in Bay of Bengal, according to an official statement issued today.

The proposed facility is envisaged to be developed in four phases with the total estimated cost of Rs 41,000 crore. Phase 1 proposed to be commissioned in the year 2028 with handling capacity of 4 million containers (TEUs), increasing to 16 million containers in the ultimate stage of development. The estimated cost for Phase 1 of the proposed transhipment port is around INR Rs 18,000 crore which includes the construction of breakwaters, dredging, reclamation, berths, storage areas, building and utilities, procurement and installation of equipment and development of port colony with core infrastructure is going to be developed with the government support.

Expression of interest (EoI) for the public-private-partnership project will be invited by the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata (SMPK is the nodal agency for implementation of this project and will be inviting Expression of Interests from the interested organizations having relevant technical expertise, financial capacity and operational experience required.

Other projects include, Airport, Township & Power plant. Holistic Development of Islands aims to bridge the gaps in infrastructure and improve economic opportunity for rapid increase in size for all types of vessels, from feeders to the large inter-continental carriers. Further, the proposed infrastructures facilities shall be such that the service levels and facilities match with that of the global top container transhipment terminals and neighbouring ports.

Public Private Partnership (PPP) will be encouraged for this project via Landlord mode. The PPP Concessionaire shall have the flexibility to develop storage area, container handling equipment and other infrastructure based on concessionaire’s own market and business assessment subject to the Minimum Guaranteed Traffic. The Concessionaire would be awarded a long-term PPP concession of 30 to 50 years (based on requirement), shall be responsible for the provision(s) of port services and shall have the rights to levy, collect and retain charges from port users, the official statement said,

Salient features of the Project

  • Strategic Location – Located on the International Trade Route, with existing transhipment terminals like Singapore, Klang and Colombo in proximity.
  • Draft – Natural depth of 20m
  • Catchment – Potential to capture transhipment cargo from the similar international facilities in the sub-continent and Ports in the proximity including Indian Ports.
  • Project features for Phase 1 – Two breakwaters, 400m wide navigational channel, 800m dia turning circle, total berth length of about 2.3km translating to 7 berths, 125 Ha for container yard, container handling equipment including RMQCs and RTGs, provision to develop 2 liquid cargo berths.

Currently, nearly 75% of India’s transhipped cargo is handled at ports outside India. Colombo, Singapore and Klang handle more than 85% of this cargo with 45% of this cargo handled at Colombo Port. Indian ports can save $200-220 million each year on transhipment cargo.

Also, developing Galathea Bay Transhipment Port will accrue significant benefits such as forex savings, foreign direct investment, increased economic activity at other

Indian Ports, enhanced logistics infrastructure which will increase efficiencies and employment generation.

Expressing his happiness on the project, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping Sarbananda Sonowal said that “this project will be a major landmark in developing India to become a self-assured and self-reliant Nation and will support the economic development of the country. Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is continuously striving to fulfil the grand vision of making a new India as envisaged by our visionary Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji.”

The EOI pertaining to ICTP, Galathea Bay will be available at SMPK website https://smportkolkata.shipping.gov.in and https://kopt.enivida.in from 28th January 2023.  All other details, including date of submission, extension, clarifications amendment etc. will be updated on above websites from time to time. All terms & conditions shall be as per EOI notification.