The Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva) will be able to handle deep-draft vessels and expand throughput capacity in roughly two years after India’s top container hub received $320 million for a dredging project.
“The Mumbai harbor channel and the port approach channel will be deepened and widened to handle vessels up to capacity of 6,000 20-foot equivalent units and up to draft of 46 feet by using the tidal window,” an official statement said.
The project includes a plan to widen the shipping channel from 1,066 feet to 1,213 feet and extend it from 18 miles to 21 miles, to match the required water depth.
“We are now in a position to open the shortlisted bids and award the contract to the lowest bidder,” a port official said.
The project, which encountered considerable delays over government clearances, is scheduled for completion in 25 months after awarding of the contract. The shortlisted bidders include Dredging International, Jan De Nul, Van Oord and Royal Boskalis Westminster.
Officials said the project will facilitate faster turn around of vessels and also help the port emerge as a “container hub” on the west coast.
Nehru, with a port-run terminal and two private facilities, accounts for almost 60 percent of India’s total containerized ocean trade. Based on current projections, the port is expected to handle 11 million TEUs by 2015-16 and roughly 23 million TEUs by 2024-25.