Yesterday, 18 February 2018, PSA’s Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMCT) was officially inaugurated at Jawaharlal Nehru Port by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had laid the foundation stone for the terminal back in October 2015.
As The Straits Times reports, the official ceremony was conducted remotely from the site of the future Navi Mumbai International Airport, where Mr. Modi was present to launch the construction of the new airport. At the same time, hundreds of guests – clients, the Port Authority, customs and other government agencies and stakeholders gathered at BMCT to witness the opening through a live video feed.
Tan Chong Meng, CEO of PSA International, said: “BMCT will consolidate Mumbai’s position as the premier seaport gateway for India and elevate it to be an international hub of call. BMCT is both a milestone in India’s port infrastructure development to support its Vision 2022, and a crucial sea node that will facilitate the movement of global trade and commerce.”
BMCT, which is a subsidiary of PSA Bharat Investments, signed the concession in May 2014 with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to develop the container terminal on a design, build, operate, finance and transfer basis for 30 years. PSA Bharat Investments is, in turn, a subsidiary of PSA International.
As we wrote earlier, the USD 1.24 bln container terminal will be constructed in 2 stages. The now completed Phase 1 provides an annual capacity of 2.4 mln TEU. With 1,000m of berth, 16.5m of draft, 6 super post-panamax STS cranes and the largest at JNPT rail yard, BMCT is capable of accommodating some of the largest container vessels, PSA said. Its gate complex comprises in total 16 gates in and out and provides paperless transactions, weighbridge and radiation detection facilities.
The terminal expects 3 more quay cranes to arrive in the first half of 2018 and another 3 in 2019. According to PSA, soon after that, the construction of Phase 2 will start, bringing the terminal to an ultimate capacity of 4.8 mln TEU with a quay length of 2,000m and 24 STS cranes by 2022.
Earlier in February, the terminal received its first vessel calls – CMA CGM’s Centaurus operating on the Swahili Express Service linking India and East Africa and Hapag-Lloyd’s Express Rome, which is employed on the Indian Ocean Service linking India and the Middle East directly with the North European ports of Antwerp, Hamburg and London. More regular services are expected at BMCT in the coming months.
This year PSA celebrates its 20th year in India. The terminal operator entered the country in 1998 with a development in Tuticorin, and now also has assets in Chennai, Kolkata and Kakinada.