Port Wings News Network:
PSA’s Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMCT), Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT)’s fourth container terminal, was officially opened by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to much fanfare on 18 February 2018.
Mr Modi officiated the BMCT opening remotely from the site of the future Navi Mumbai International Airport where he had earlier launched the new airport’s construction. Several hundred guests comprising customers, JNPT, Customs, Police and other government agencies and stakeholders gathered at BMCT and witnessed the ceremony via a live video feed.
Mr Tan Chong Meng, Group CEO of PSA International, said, “We are highly honoured by the prominence placed upon Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals by the Government of India and by Prime Minister Modi. They have fittingly regarded BMCT as a major port investment that will give rise to India’s largest container terminal when it completes its Phase 2 expansion to realise a total of 4.8m TEU annual container handling capacity.
“Indeed, 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.
“I would like to express our deepest thanks to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and the many partners for the opportunity to work alongside them on this key project and to deliver it on time. It is our greatest hope that all the stakeholders in the port and beyond will commit to working together to make this a success for the benefit of the people and the trade in Mumbai and India.
“The momentous occasion is also made doubly meaningful as PSA celebrates its 20th year of port investment in India this year. We have grown roots in this country from two decades ago, starting in Tuticorin in 1998, followed by Chennai, Kolkata, Kakinada and now BMCT. PSA looks forward to continue contributing to the Indian economy and enhancing the livelihoods of the local communities.”
BMCT’s Phase 1 development is currently operational with a quay length of 1000 metres, six super post-panamax cranes, the deepest berths and largest rail yard in Jawaharlal Nehru Port. It is capable of accommodating some of the largest container vessels afloat and aims to offer flexibility and scale for shipping line customers and port users. The gate complex has eight in-gates and eight out-gates and provides paperless transactions, weighbridge and radiation detection facilities.
The terminal currently has 165 employees, of which 80% are Maharashtrians recruited from the local area. Many indirect jobs have also been created for contract labour suppliers and more employment will be created as the terminal grows and Phase 2 construction begins.
Two regular shipping services now call at the terminal: the Swahili Express Service operated by CMA-CGM and Emirates Shipping Line, linking India and East Africa; and Indian Ocean Service operated by Hapag Lloyd, Hamburg-Sud and CMA-CGM, which links India and the Middle East directly with North European ports. More services are expected in the coming months.
Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PSA Bharat Investments Pte Ltd (which is a subsidiary of PSA International) had signed the concession in May 2014 with JNPT to develop the container terminal on a design, build, operate, finance and transfer basis in Mumbai for a period of 30 years.