Operations at Maharashtra’s first greenfield port in Dighi is expected to commence next month with the commissioning of the first of its five berths.
Dighi Port Ltd, the company executing the project, plans to commission all five berths next year and expects to have rail and road infrastructure in place by 2012, which would cost around Rs3,000 crore.
Once operational, the port’s total capacity would be around 30 million tonnes annually. “We have already tied up with clients for around 10-12 million tonnes,” said Vishal Kalantri, director, Dighi Port.
It is being developed by Balaji Infra Projects Ltd under the build, own, operate and transfer or BOOT model, for a concession period of 50 years.
In the first phase of investment, around Rs1,200 crore will be spent, including for setting up five berths for bulk, break bulk and container cargo, and rail and road connectivity.
Dighi Port also plans to develop a multi-product special economic zone, including a free trade warehousing zone in its vicinity. “Both these zones have been accorded in-principle and formal approval,” said Vijay Kalantri, chairman and managing director, Dighi Port Ltd.
Given the port’s proximity to the Raigad industrial belt and the southern states, bulk and break-bulk are likely to be the major volume contributors. Steel, coal, automobile and hot-rolled coils are expected to be the products driving this.
Dighi Port also figures in the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor plan.
Around three cities/satellites to be developed under the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor plan would be in the range of 250km from the port.
The company also plans to position Dighi as an infrastructure solutions arena, which would include evacuation in the form of end-to-end logistics solutions.