Home / Politics / Policy /  Gujarat signs pacts worth Rs35,000 crore at Maritime India Summit

Ahmedabad: Gujarat received investment proposals worth 35,000 crore for port projects from companies including Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) on the first day of the Maritime India Summit in Mumbai.

Apart from IL&FS, the state signed an agreement with Simar Port Pvt. Ltd and a tripartite accord with the Union shipping ministry and the Indian Ports Association, according to a statement on Thursday by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), the regulator for all non-major ports and maritime activities in the state.

IL&FS plans to develop a completely integrated maritime complex at Nana Layja in Gujarat’s Kutch district at a potential investment of 10,049 crore.

Simar Port, a special purpose vehicle set up by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, was granted a letter of intent by GMB for development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Chhara port, in association with Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL), under a sub-concession agreement. The LNG terminal with a regasification and storage facility will be developed at an investment of 4,500 crore, while a bulk cargo terminal at Chhara will be developed at an investment of 3,500 crore by Simar Port.

Following the inauguration of the summit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel hosted an interactive session with leaders from the Indian maritime industry on their plans for the state and assistance required from the Gujarat government.

Swan Energy will build a first-of-its-kind floating LNG terminal with a capacity to handle around 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) at Jafrabad in Gujarat, in association with Exmar NV of Belgium.

IL&FS, a major participant in the ambitious Gujarat International Finance Tec-city (GIFT City), expressed interest in partnering the state’s initiative of developing a commercial services maritime cluster. Incidentally, GIFT City has been identified as a possible location for the proposed maritime cluster in Gujarat.

According to a GMB official, two major port expansion projects were announced at the summit—Pipavav Port, run by AP Moller Maersk-controlled Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd, at an investment of 1,850 crore, and Mundra Port, run by APSEZ, at an investment of 7,600 crore. Mundra Port, India’s leading private port, intends to expand its container facilities and develop an LNG regasification and storage terminal.

RIL announced its intention to develop its sixth oil berth at Sikka, indicating that India’s largest firm is bullish on its crude oil refining prospects.

Keeping in mind Gujarat’s strategic location, two defence establishment projects were also announced at the summit.

The Indian Coast Guard plans to invest 100 crore to develop dedicated jetties at Porbandar and Okha, while the Navy will invest 200 crore on a breakwater and jetty at Porbandar.

Also, Gujarat Ports Infrastructure and Development Co. Ltd announced that the UK’s Southampton Solent University has signed an MoU with GMB for a proposed Gujarat Maritime University.

Gujarat commands a 22% share among Indian states in coastal shipping, and is actively working on more initiatives to maintain its leadership position in coastal shipping of commodities.

The objective of the three-day Maritime India Summit, which was attended by a delegation of more than 50 South Korean companies and government departments, is to attract potential investors to the vast untapped opportunities India’s maritime sector offers. South Korea is the partner country for the summit.

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