Mumbai: Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has began 2008 on an upbeat note in updating its facilities by planning to start construction work by March on its Rs1,228-crore offshore container terminal.
“The consortium-led by Gammon India, which has been awarded the offshore container terminal, is expected to achieve financial closure in the next few weeks and construction of work would start immediately, latest by March, and will be commissioned by 2010,” Mumbai Port Trust deputy chairman Ashok Kumar Bal said.
Construction of the offshore container terminal would add 12 million tonnes capacity to the port.
The terminal has been awarded on a build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis for 30 years.
Besides the container terminal, the port plans to redevelop existing harbour wall berth, build a second chemical jetty, a fifth oil berth and explore the possibility of making Mumbai a cruise hub in the country, Bal said.
Though these projects were conceived in 2007, work is expected to start this year, he said.
The proposed new chemical jetty, approved by the Centre, would cost Rs116 crore.
“Work on the chemical jetty would begin by April or May,” Bal said.
The port plans to redevelop three harbour wall berths at a cost of Rs353 crore to enable it to receive over dimensional and deep-drafted cargo vessels.
Presently, the draft is only 7.5 metres to 8 metres. Once the redevelopment takes place, the draft would increase to 14 metres.
The fifth oil berth, which would add 17.8 million tonnes of capacity, will be commissioned by 2012.
The port has appointed IIT Chennai for re-engineering of Indira Dock, the oldest dock of the port.
“IIT would come out with a report on how the existing system can be enhanced,” he said.
Mumbai Port Trust would begin work this year on its Rs131-crore project to remove rail bottleneck on the Kurla-Wadala route, the official said.
The port, appointed the nodal agency for setting up a ship-building yard on the West Coast, is in talks with coastal states in this regard.
“We are in talks with Maharashtra and other coastal states too for allotment of land,” Bal added.
Mumbai Port Trust is exploring to develop coastal shipping for which Inland Waterways Authority of India has appointed a consultant for conducting feasibility study.