Union Cabinet approves setting up a Major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu

The Union Cabinet has given its in-principle approval for setting up a Major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu. On completion the port will become country’s 13th major port.

The Enayam Major Port project seeks to make India a trans-shipment hub for the global East-West maritime trade route.

Enayam Major Port project

  • For development of this port, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed with initial equity investment from the three Major Ports in Tamil Nadu.
  • They are V.O.Chidambaranar Port Trust, Kamarajar Port Limited and Chennai Port Trust.
  • The SPV will develop the port infrastructure including construction of breakwater, dredging and reclamation, ensuring connectivity links etc.

Key Facts

  • Major port at Enayam will act as a major gateway container port for Indian cargo that is presently trans-shipped outside the country.
  • It will help to reduce the logistics cost for exporters/importers in South India who currently depend on trans-shipment other foreign ports, incurring additional port handling charges.
  • The Enayam port has a natural deep draught of about 20 metres which makes it feasible for larger vessels.
  • It has 10 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) capacity and later can be expanded to 18 million TEUs.

Background

  • At present, there are only a few ports in India that have sufficient draft and can match global cargo handling efficiencies.
  • Currently, around 78% of the marine traffic from the east coast ports of India is trans-shipped to Colombo, Singapore and Klang (Malaysia).
  • The traffic is transhipped form India as there are only a few ports in south India that have a draught to match global cargo handling efficiencies and function as a trans-shipment hub.
  • Due to this diversion, Indian port industry is losing out up to 1,500 Crores Rupees of revenues each year.

Note: India has 12 major ports at present. They are Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Managlore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V.O. Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).

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