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India’s Mumbai Port Authority has awarded Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors a contract for maintenance dredging of port berths to help alleviate draft restrictions.
“Dredging work is expected to start in mid-October,” port officials said.
The move follows vigorous efforts by the Mumbai-Nhava Sheva Ship Agents’ Association, which has been spearheading the cause of port users. The association represents the entire ship agents’ community at the ports of Mumbai and Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru).
Draft limits, coupled with other infrastructure issues, currently prevent bigger ships from calling at Mumbai Port. A $300-million offshore container terminal project, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014, will enable the port to handle ships of up to 6,000 20-foot-equivalent units. The offshore terminal will offer an estimated annual throughput capacity of 800,000 TEUs in the first phase.
Mumbai Port handled 22.74 million tons of cargo from April to August, the first five months of fiscal year 2013-14, slipping 6 percent year-over-year. Container volume totaled 16,000 TEUs, down from 25,000 TEUs.