India Approves New Deep-Sea Port

Last week Indian authorities approved a new project  for developing a new container transshipment port at Vizhinjam, a deep-sea, green field site in the country’s southern state of Kerala.

According to The Journal of Commercia, the project had only one bidder, domestic port infrastructure developer Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and  is designed to be built in two phases, with the initial phase estimated to cost Rs. 5,552 crore (roughly $872 million). Phase I would include the construction of 2,625 feet of quay, 53 hectares of storage space and an annual capacity of 1 million 20-foot-equivalent units.

The site’s 59-foot natural channel depth, with a provision to increase it to 72 feet via dredging, would allow the planned port to accommodate very large container vessels.

Officials estimate construction on the first phase would take approximately four years to complete.

The Vizhinjam port has been a long-time goal of the local government to spur industrial activities in the state. The state agency had failed in its two previous attempts to bid out the project.It is vital to India’s long-term strategy to capture domestic cargo currently moving through other hub ports in the region, especially Sri Lanka’s Port of Colombo.  Statistics collected by show Colombo’s transshipment volumes in 2014 reached 3.8 million TEUs, up from 3.2 million TEUs in the previous year.The intra-Asia trade is currently booming, with carriers adding services throughout the region, from India to the Middle East, and India to China. The China to India trade has been especially competitive as of late.

Adanis’ port operations in India include cargo facilities at Hazira, Dahej, Goa, Dhamra, Visakhapatnam and Ennore.

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