A consortium led by PSA International has provisionally won a concession to build a fourth terminal at India’s busiest container port, according to local news reports.
Singapore-based terminal operator PSA is partnering with local port group ABG to build a terminal in the Nhava Sheva port complex that could eventually have capacity for 4.8 million TEUs, more than doubling existing capacity at the port.
Throughput at the three existing terminals in Nhava Sheva – operated by APM Terminals, DP World, and the Indian government – has sailed beyond the port’s design capacity of 4 million TEUs, with congestion particularly troublesome at the government-run terminal. The port handled 4.3 million TEUs in its last fiscal year.
Aside from the fourth terminal, which has been embroiled for months in court cases over which companies were eligible to bid on the project, the government plans to expand capacity at its terminal by 1.6 million TEUs over the next two years. The fourth terminal is envisioned to be built in two phases through 2015, with 1,000 meters of quay and 2.4 million TEUs of capacity added in each phase. If all the projects are completed on schedule, Nhava Sheva will have capacity of nearly 11 million TEUs by 2015.
APMT opted out of the bidding on the fourth terminal – after initially winning a court case over the right to bid on the project – when it deemed the project unprofitable due to high pass-through tariffs required by the Indian government.
The development of the fourth terminal at Nhava Sheva is seen as vital to keep momentum going in India’s still-nascent container industry. In an American Shipper webinar Thursday, Mathijs Slangen, a senior maritime analyst with the consultant Seabury Group, said India has failed to grow its port infrastructure fast enough to keep up with box demand into and out of the country.
“India, Brazil, and Indonesia are countries that are growing really fast – they’re outperforming,” he said. “However, improvement in connectivity infrastructure is really behind other countries. These three countries should really be at the top of the list in growth of connectivity. This (lack of infrastructure development) will hamper the growth in these markets.”
India’s shipping minister Rakesh Shrivastava said the terminal will represent the largest single foreign investment in India’s ports sector. PSA, which operates Indian terminals in Chennai and Tuticorin, fought off competition from DP World and the domestic Adani Group. — Eric Johnson