Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday (17 October), virtually laid the foundation stone for the development of a container terminal at Tuna Tekra in Gujarat at a cost of Rs 4,244 crore.
The terminal, which is likely to emerge as an international trade hub, will handle next-gen vessels exceeding 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and will act as a gateway for Indian trade via the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC).
While laying the foundation stone of the container terminal, the Prime Minister emphasised that the new container terminal at Tuna Tekra with a handling capacity of 2.19 million TEUs per annum, will support the India-Middle East-Europe Corridor.
The mega-container terminal at Tuna-Tekra near the existing Deendayal Port in Kandla, Gujarat is expected to commence operations by early 2027.
Earlier in August 2023, the concession agreement to develop the next-gen terminal was signed between the Deendayal Port Authority and Dubai-based DP World.
The concession is on a build-operate-transfer basis for a period of 30 years, with the option to extend for another 20 years.
The mega-container terminal will be developed by Hindustan Infralog Private Limited — a joint venture between DP World and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), India’s collaborative investment platform anchored by the Government of India.
Kandla Port is one of the 12 major ports and country’s biggest state-owned port by volume. The port is well connected by the network of rail and road, and serves as the gateway for the trade generating from and to northern India.
The existing facilities at Kandla are located within Kandla creek. To enhance the cargo handling capacity and to handle bigger size vessels, the port has initiated action to develop the port facilities outside Kandla creek — at Tuna-Tekra in the Gulf of Kutch, within port limits.
The upcoming container terminal at Tuna-Tekra is approximately 30 km away from the existing Kandla Port, about 1 km east from dry bulk terminal being constructed by the Adani Group, and 40 km east of Mundra port.
2.19 Million TEU Terminal
The union cabinet in October 2022 had approved development of the container terminal at Tuna-Tekra under public-private-partnership mode at an estimated cost of Rs 4,500 crore.
The Tuna-Tekra greenfield mega container terminal will entail an estimated investment of Rs 4,243.64 crore and an additional Rs 300 crore will be invested by the Deendayal Port Authority.
The terminal, once complete, will have a total capacity of 2.19 million TEUs per annum.
It will also have a 1,100 m berth capable of handling next-generation vessels carrying more than 18,000 TEUs without any pre-berthing detention for want of tide. As part of the concession agreement, the berth can be further extended to 1,375 m.
The terminal will connect to the hinterland through the network of roads, highways, railways and dedicated freight corridors, supporting the growing demand for logistics solutions from across Northern, Western and Central India, connecting businesses in the regions to global markets.
Also, Indian Railways has recently approved the quadrupling of Samakhiali-Gandhidham line, which will be a big boost for the upcoming container terminal at Tuna-Tekra.
In addition, the Deendayal Port is in discussion with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Indian Railways, to implement various other initiatives to enhance connectivity of Kandla and Tuna-Tekra terminals.