India’s Government has approved the development of a Rs76,200 crore ($9.1bn) port project at Vadhavan in Maharashtra in the west of the country. 

The major project will see the construction of an “all-weather greenfield deep draft port” with road and rail links across thousands of hectares in the district, making it one of India’s biggest maritime projects. 

Overseen by the newly set up Vadhavan Port Project Limited (VPPL) special purpose vehicle, construction will include nine 1000m long container terminals, four multipurpose berths, four liquid cargo berths, a Ro-Ro berth, and a Coast Guard berth. 

The project is one of the first major infrastructure developments given the green light under the newly re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said the port would “boost economic progress and create employment opportunities at a large scale”, with direct and indirect jobs for roughly 1,200,000 people. 

As part of construction, VPPL will reclaim 1,448 hectares of land from the sea and construct 10.14km of offshore breakwater and container/cargo storage areas. 

The port is expected to have a cumulative capacity of 298 million metric tons, including a container capacity of 23.2 million TEUs, making it one of the biggest and busiest ports in the world

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Commercial infrastructure at the port will be held in public-private partnerships while VPPL itself is 74% owned by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority and 26% by the Maharashtra Maritime Board. 

In approving the project, the government highlighted the benefits of the new port to the proposed India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) and the International North-South Transportation Corridor.

Development of Vadhavan port would continue India’s role as one of the biggest investors into port projects in recent years, with the country responsible for two of the ten biggest projects in 2023.