Boskalis will start dredging work in September 2012 and expects to finish in 2014.
Work under the deal will include the deepening and widening of the 33.5km long access channel, the port basins and turning basins.
Boskalis will use jumbo and medium-sized trailing suction hopper dredgers along with a jumbo cutter suction dredger and a large backhoe to remove about 67 million m³ of sand, silt, clay and rock.
Currently, Jawaharlal Nehru Port has an annual handling capacity of 4.3 million teu, which represents more than 50% of the total quantity of containers handled by Indian ports.
Deepening of the port from the current 11.5m to over 14m will help in accommodating vessels of over 6,000 teu capacity and up to 12m draught vessels at all states of tide, as well as increasing the annual port capacity by about 10 million teu.
In June 2012, JNPT received the lowest bid from Boskalis for the project, which had other bidders including Jan De Nul NV, a consortium of Dredging International NV and Van Oord Dredging, and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction.
In November 2011, JNPT announced its plan to invest Rs570bn ($11bn) over the next eight to ten years to expand port capacity fivefold.