Posted on February 6, 2024
CEO of Gujarat Maritime Cluster, Madhvendra Singh, said the master plan for the project is being prepared and work on the phase 1 is expected to begin next year.
The Gujarat government has identified seven potential locations for the establishment of an international port city, said two officials close to the development.
The project, to be developed on the lines of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Dubai, will have port infrastructure, including terminals, docks, house port-led industries, marine activities and residential complexes.
“This is going to be one of its kind projects in the country. The proposed city will be spread over an area of 250-500 square kilometers. Port cities like Rotterdam and Antwerp have been gateways to the economic prosperity of a nation. The one being planned by Gujarat will be a model port city for Asia. The master plan for the project is being prepared and work on the phase 1 is expected to begin next year,” said Madhvendra Singh, CEO of Gujarat Maritime Cluster (GMC), a part of Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), and who is presently spearheading the project.
The proposed international port city project is implemented by GMB, the principal governmental agency responsible for the development of the maritime industry in the state.
GMB has shortlisted seven locations including Pipavav, Hazira, Valsad district including the greenfield site at Nargol, Porbander, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gulf of Kutch as potential sites for the international port city project.
The proposal for the port city project was also mentioned in the Vision 2047 document unveiled by GMB at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar last month.
“Development of state-of-the-art port facilities is fundamental to the success of a port city. With the continuous increase in size and dept of the sea-going vessels, demand is set to grow for larger, deep draft terminals with longer quays and advanced mechanisation. Proposed Port City in Gujarat to include the development of world-class port area with an estimated cargo handling capacity of 250-500 million tonnes per annum consisting of deep draft multipurpose terminals, ship building and repair, marina, water sports and more,” it said.
The government has also floated a request for proposal for “Advisory services for the development of a master plan for a port city in the state of Gujarat”. Cushman and Wakefield (C&W), a NYSE listed global commercial real estate services firm has been selected for this, said an official at GMB.
“Apart from the seven locations, C&W can suggest another suitable location for the project,” he added.
Senior executives from Port of Rotterdam, Dubai Port World and Abu Dhabhi Port had attended the Vibrant Gujarat investors’ summit in January and the Gujarat government had discussed the port city project with them. “Once the master plan and location are finalised, GMB will float tenders inviting port developers to develop the project. The investment and other financial details will be finalised only next year,” the official added.
“For India to meet its ambitious goal of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy, Gujarat must continue to accelerate its growth rate and aim for a 10% share in the national GDP. By doing so, it could become an instrumental force in driving India’s overall economic progress. As per current projections, Gujarat aims to achieve a Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of USD 500 billion by FY 2026-27. This requires the state to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% in nominal terms over the next five years, a significant step up from its last decade’s record of 12.3%,” said a second government official.
Gujarat contributes 8.3% to the nation’s GDP. In FY23, non-major ports in Gujarat handled 416 MMT of cargo which is about 30% of total traffic handled by all Indian ports. In the same year, Gujarat’s non-major ports contributed for about 65% of traffic for all non-major ports of India.