India’s Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure on Aug. 20 approved construction of four multipurpose cargo berths for handling larger vessels at the Port of Kandla, a major gateway on the west coast.
The project, to be implemented through private participation on a build-operate-transfer basis, is estimated to cost around $157 million.
The concessionaire would be required to invest $151 million, while the remainder would be contributed by the landlord port.
At full build-out, the project will increase Kandla's capacity by 8 million tons a year. It will also enable the port to handle vessels with drafts up to 14 meters, and help it alleviate congestion problems as well as boost overall throughput.
Among the 12 major ports in the country, Kandla emerged as the largest cargo-handling hub so far in the current fiscal year, having racked up throughput of 25.8 million tons during April-July compared with 24.8 million tons in the year-ago period.
In fiscal 2008-09 ended March 31, total cargo volume increased 11 percent to a record 72.22 million tons from 64.89 million tons the previous year.
Based on latest projections, Kandla is expected to handle 100 million tons of cargo by 2012.