Port and terminal developer Essar Ports division Essar Bulk Terminal (EBTL) has concluded the development of a passenger ferry terminal in Hazira, Gujarat, India.

The Hazira Passenger Ferry Terminal was constructed over a period of eight months and is the third terminal built by Essar company.

EBTL CEO Subhas Das said: “I congratulate my team for building the passenger terminal in just eight months after receiving GMB’s permission to initiate this project.

“It was a challenging task that tested our technical expertise and project execution capabilities. We are proud to have commissioned the project in record time to pave the way for the launch of this revolutionary ferry service.”

Facilities available at the terminal include marine structures such as passenger walkway, floating pontoon and landing platform. It also features shore-based terminal facilities, including the terminal building, vehicle parking area and cafeteria.

Essar Ports managing director and CEO Rajiv Agarwal said: “We feel privileged to be able to contribute to the RoRo ferry project in Gujarat, which has set a worthy precedent for the rest of the country.

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“Though we are a commercial port operator, we were keen to build this passenger terminal project in the spirit of giving back to the larger community.

“The ferry service will be a huge boost to tourism in Gujarat. We look forward to contributing to similar projects that will help unleash the tremendous potential of coastal transport in India by using the country’s extensive network of inland waterways.”

Following the new terminal opening, SSR Marine Services has launched a passenger ferry vessel Cruise Mumbai Maiden.

The cruise ship can carry 200 passengers. It will operate between Hazira Port in Surat and Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai.

Plans also are being considered to introduce passenger ferry service between Surat and Bhavnagar. Using the ferry services, passengers will able to travel between Surat and Bhavnagar in just 3.5 hours compared to ten hours by road.

Essar Ports currently operates four terminals in three Indian states. With a collective capacity of 110 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), the terminals represent 5% of port capacity in India.