PSA officially launches new port terminal in India

PSA's Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals welcomed its second regular shipping service on Feb 12, 2018. PHOTO: PSA

SINGAPORE - PSA's US$1.2 billion Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMCT) was officially opened at Jawaharlal Nehru Port on Sunday (Feb 18).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi officiated BMCT's opening remotely via live video feed from the site of the future Navi Mumbai International Airport, where he had earlier presided over an event for the airport.

BMCT - a subsidiary of PSA Bharat Investments - had signed the concession in May 2014 with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to develop the container terminal on a design, build, operate, finance and transfer basis in Mumbai for 30 years. PSA Bharat Investments is, in turn, a subsidiary of PSA International.

One of the largest foreign direct investments in the Indian port sector, BMCT will have an annual container handling capacity of 4.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) when Phase 2 of its development is completed at the end of 2022. It is also one of PSA's largest investments outside Singapore.

Tan Chong Meng, group chief executive of PSA International, said: "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."

PSA, which celebrates its 20th year in India this year, started in Tuticorin in 1998, and now also has ports in Chennai, Kolkata and Kakinada.

BMCT's Phase 1 development is currently operational with a quay length of 1,000 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. The gate complex has eight in-gates and eight out-gates and provides paperless transactions, weighbridge and radiation detection facilities. In Phase 1, it has an annual container handling capacity of 2.4 million TEUs.

Two regular shipping services - the Swahili Express Service and Indian Ocean Service - now call at the terminal. More services are expected in the coming months.

Neeraj Bansal, chairman-in-charge of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), said: "We have no doubt that JNPT's growth will accelerate as well as increase facilitation of trade and commerce, which will result in considerable benefits to the local economy and also help generate employment opportunities."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.