The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 18 attended the Ground Breaking Ceremony of Navi Mumbai International Airport. At this a function held in Navi Mumbai, he also dedicated the fourth container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
Addressing the gathering consisting of senior ministers from the Government of India and Chief Minister and other Ministers of Government of Maharashtra, dignitaries and industry representatives Mr Modi said that the Navi Mumbai airport project has been pending for years. “The delayed projects cause many problems and the PRAGATI initiative had been initiated, to give priority to completion of projects,” he underlined.
According to the PM aviation sector is growing tremendously, and there is a sharp increase in the number of people flying. This makes quality infrastructure in the aviation sector of prime importance. He maintained that the Union Government has brought an aviation policy that is transforming the sector.
“Globalisation is a reality of our times and to keep pace with globalisation, we need top quality infrastructure, Mr Modi said adding that the Sagarmala project is ushering not only development of ports but also port-led development. He also pointed out that the Government of India is devoting significant efforts towards the development of waterways.
“We are highly honoured by the prominence placed upon Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals by the Government of India and by Prime Minister Modi. They have fittingly regarded BMCT as a major port investment that will give rise to India’s largest container terminal when it completes its Phase 2 expansion to realise a total of 4.8m TEU annual container handling capacity,” said Mr Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO of PSA International.
According to Mr Tan, BMCT will consolidate Mumbai’s position as the premier seaport gateway for India and elevate it to be an international hub of call. “BMCT is both a milestone in India’s port infrastructure development to support its ‘Vision 2022’ and a crucial sea node that will facilitate the movement of global trade and commerce,” he added.
“The momentous occasion is also made doubly meaningful as PSA celebrates its 20th year of port investment in India this year. We have grown roots in this country from two decades ago, starting in Tuticorin in 1998, followed by Chennai, Kolkata, Kakinada and now BMCT. PSA looks forward to continue contributing to the Indian economy and enhancing the livelihoods of the local communities,” underlined Mr. Wan Chee Foong, Regional CEO of Middle East South Asia (MESA) & Head Group Business Development of PSA International.
BMCT’s Phase 1 development is currently operational with a quay length of 1000 metres, six super post-panamax cranes, the deepest berths and largest rail yard in Jawaharlal Nehru Port. It is capable of accommodating some of the largest container vessels afloat and aims to offer flexibility and scale for shipping line customers and port users. The gate complex has eight in-gates and eight out-gates and provides paperless transactions, weighbridge and radiation detection facilities.
Two regular shipping services now call at the terminal: the Swahili Express Service operated by CMA-CGM and Emirates Shipping Line, linking India and East Africa; and Indian Ocean Service operated by Hapag Lloyd, Hamburg-Sud and CMA-CGM, which links India and the Middle East directly with North European ports. More services are expected in the coming months.
Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PSA Bharat Investments Pte Ltd (which is a subsidiary of PSA International) had signed the concession in May 2014 with JNPT to develop the container terminal on a design, build, operate, finance and transfer basis in Mumbai for a period of 30 years.