The Indian Government is making its first attempt to build a greenfield port and container transhipment hub near Kanyakumari in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu through the public-private partnership (PPP) route.

According to a tender notice issued by the state-owned port, V O Chidambaranar Port Trust has sought expression of interest from shipping lines and port developers to build the 6.5 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) capacity transhipment port, reported The Hindu Business Line.

Potential bidders can file their expressions of interest up to 20 March.

The new project will be managed by Kanniyakumari Port, a special purpose vehicle floated by V O Chidambaranar Port Trust, Cochin Port Trust, and Chennai Port Trust.

In July 2016, the union cabinet gave in-principle sanction for building a new major port at Enayam in Kanyakumari in three phases with an investment of $3.78bn to manage 127 million tonnes of cargo annually.

However, a new site, closer to Kanyakumari, was selected following resistance from local fishermen groups.

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The new site does not have any fishermen villages.

Briefing on the plan, a government official said: “There will be zero displacement. Nobody will be disturbed. Besides, no land acquisition is envisaged for port construction.”

In its ten-year blueprint, Maritime India Vision 2030, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has proposed to build another transhipment port in Kanyakumari region by 2030.

The transhipment port project will be approached on the basis of techno-economic viability of the new port and post stabilisation of Vizhinjam port.

By extending support from central and state governments, the Maritime India Vision 2030 has prioritised Vizhinjam transhipment port development in the short term.

In addition, the ministry has also aimed to raise the share of Indian cargo transhipped in Indian ports by more than 75% by 2030.