Govt plans to take away delayed Rewas Port from RIL

It won the project in 2002; now Maharashtra may develop it along with MbPT, JNPT and MMB

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Govt plans to take away delayed Rewas Port from RIL


Union Ministry of Shipping along with Maharashtra government has initiated the process to take back Rewas Port project off Mumbai from Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).

RIL was awarded the project in 2002 to develop an all-weather deep draught port (20-metre draught) in three phases to house container and coal terminals apart from cement and liquid berths.

As per the latest plans being discussed within the ministry, the state along with port authorities - Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) - will jointly develop the Rewas Port at the entrance of Dharamtar Creek.

DNA Money had reported on the possibilities of JNPT and MbPT co-developing Rewas Port in April this year.

“There are discussions going on at the Centre to take over the project,” confirmed Manoj Saunik, principal secretary, transport & ports, Maharashtra.

Another official privy to the development shared that a fresh feasibility study will have to be done prior to starting the port development project as estimates mentioned in the previously-conducted studies haven’t come true.

Among the reasons for the port project not taking off are RIL’s plans of Maha Mumbai Special Economic Zone spread over 35,000 acre in Raigad district of Maharashtra getting scrapped and waterfront royalty charges that the Mukesh Ambani-owned firm is supposed to pay to MbPT.

RIL is supposed to pay around Rs 950 crore to MbPT for using waters (waterfront royalty charges) or channel under MbPT’s jurisdiction and only then will it get the 'right of way' to allow ships to sail in or out of the port.

As a part of the initial discussions with the ministry, the first step will be to explore alternatives by offering RIL an option to pay waterfront royalty charges’ or allowing MbPT to have equity in the port company.

At present, RIL, through its arm Reliance Logistics & Ports, has 55% stake in Rewas Port, followed by Amma Lines having 24%, MMB 11% and Jai Corporation the balance 10%. For the project, Rewas Port was given 834 hectare of inter-tidal land.

Soon, a private agency will be contracted to conduct the evaluation of equity for MbPT apart from looking at the equity holdings option for MbPT, JNPT and MMB to form a new company to co-develop Rewas Port, said one of the officials privy to the development.

“It has been over ten years since they were given licence and other clearances to develop the project. Still, they haven’t done anything,” said an official. In other words, they have already crossed the prescribed time limit during which the construction work was to commence.

If a common consensus is reached over giving equity to MbPT, there is a possibility of RIL getting new lease of life to the port plans or else it may turn out to be a game changer for MbPT and JNPT, who are looking at expansion options. This would be right next to their existing set-ups, but congestion at the channel will be an issue of concern.

At JNPT, the fourth terminal is already under-construction and another port is being planned at Wadhavan, that has been witnessing opposition from locals. Secondly, for MbPT, with their port land development plans, they may need another location to ensure cargo volumes don’t decline.

An email sent to RIL seeking comments on the development remained unanswered till the time of going to the press.


  • The project didn’t take off as RIL’s planned SEZ got scrapped and it has to pay waterfront royalty charges
  • Only if RIL pays around Rs 950 crore to MbPT will it get the ‘right of way’
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