India’s Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), which is struggling to cope with increased congestion, unveiled plans to build a fifth container terminal to accommodate a projected significant growth in traffic volume.
The port authority called for bids from global engineering consultants for preparation of master plans and design work for the proposed project. The terminal was envisaged in a proposal approved by the government in 2005.
“In order to gear itself up to meet the demands of future growth beyond 2015-16, the port plans to extend the development activities for augmentation of capacity and other allied activities,” the authority said. “Since the area around Sheva is saturated, it is now proposed to examine developing Nhava Island.”
The planned facility is a long-term project that will require environmental clearances and other government approvals, which could take considerable time.
It is one in a series of capacity improvement plans that the port authority has lined up for implementation over the next 10 years with an anticipated total investment of about $3 billion. The aim is to expand annual capacity from the current 4 million 20-foot equivalent units to an estimated 17 million TEUs.
Projects in the pipeline include development of a 4.8 million-TEU fourth terminal and an extension of the port-run container berth by 330 meters. The port is also working on a project to deepen its main access channel to 14 meters, a $180 million contract that is slated to be completed two years from now.
Nehru, India’s largest container gateway, has been confronted with severe terminal congestion and berthing delays in recent months, forcing ocean carriers to skip calls and reroute vessels to ports farther up the west coast. The disruptions also prompted emergency surcharge announcements by several lines.
The port currently has three container terminals, which handled a record 4.27 million TEUs in fiscal 2010-11 ended March 31. According to a recent port business plan, traffic is estimated to reach 11 million TEUs by 2015-16 and about 23 million TEUs by 2024-25.