Govt To Invite EoIs For Rs 41,000 Crore Transhipment Port Project In Great Nicobar Island

Expressions of Interests (EoIs) will be invited by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to develop an international transhipment port project at Great Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal. According to a release by the ministry on Friday, the project is expected to be complete with an investment of Rs 41,000 crore ($5 Billion), which includes investment from both the government and PPP concessionaires.

The EoI will be released on the e-procurement portal on Saturday. The mega International Container Transhipment Port (ICTP) at Galathea Bay of Great Nicobar Island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal will have the capacity to handle 16 million containers per year. Phase one of the proposed project will be commissioned in the year 2028 and will handle a  capacity of 4 million TEUs in the initial phase, the ministry said.

Features Of  ICTP

The estimated cost for phase one of the proposed transhipment port is around Rs 18,000 crore which includes the construction of breakwaters, dredging, reclamation, berths, storage areas, building and utilities, procurement and installation of equipment and development of the port colony with core infrastructure is going to be developed with the government support.

The project focuses on three key drivers, according to the ministry, strategic location in terms of proximity (40 nautical miles) with the International shipping trade route, availability of natural water depth of over 20 metre, and carrying capacity of transhipment cargo from all the Ports in the proximity including Indian Ports.

The project is located on the international trade route, with existing transhipment terminals like Singapore, Klang, and Colombo in proximity.

Vision Behind The Project

The government says the holistic development of islands aims to bridge the gaps in infrastructure and improve economic opportunity for the rapid increase in the size of all types of vessels, from feeders to large inter-continental carriers. Further, the proposed infrastructure facilities shall be such that the service levels and facilities match that of the international top container transhipment terminals and neighbouring ports.

Public Private Partnership (PPP) will be encouraged for this project via Landlord mode. The PPP concessionaire shall have the flexibility to develop a storage area, container handling equipment and other infrastructure based on the concessionaire’s own market and business assessment subject to the minimum guaranteed traffic.

The concessionaire would be awarded a long-term PPP concession of 30 to 50 years (based on requirement), shall be responsible for the provision(s) of port services and shall have the rights to levy, collect and retain charges from port users.

Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “This project will be a major landmark in developing India to become a self-assured and self-reliant Nation and will support the economic development of the country.”