The Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), India’s largest container handler, has revived plans for its long-awaited fourth container terminal by re-appointing engineering consultants to prepare fresh master plans.
The move follows the cancelation of Nehru’s initial tender to develop a new facility, JNPT4, in two phases in September after Singapore’s PSA International pulled its $1.5 billion joint bid with local partner ABG Ports, apparently in response to a sharp escalation in project costs caused by delays and the ongoing shipping slowdown.
Port officials said the board at a recent meeting approved a proposal to split the build-operate-transfer project into two terminals, each with a total quay length of 3,280 feet.
“This would ease the way for potential bidders to make a bid for the planned facility and also help commission the terminals faster — potentially in three years compared with eight years estimated earlier,” officials said. “The consulting agencies have been asked to submit revised plans within 60 days, and requests for qualification (RFQ) would be called for early next year.”
The project is expected to provide for a combined throughput capacity of 4.8 million 20-foot-equivalent units a year, expanding Nehru’s designed capacity to nearly 9 million TEUs from 4.17 million TEUs at present.
Plans for a fourth terminal were cleared by the central government in January 2010, but the process hit a roadblock following a series of litigations initiated by disqualified bidders, including APM Terminals Mumbai, which runs Gateway Terminals at Nhava Sheva.
The port authority last month awarded a contract to DP World to build and operate a new container terminal with annual capacity of 800,000 TEUs, which is scheduled for completion in 2015.
Nehru handled a record 4.32 million TEUs in fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31, and has handled 2.5 million TEUs from April through October.