The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in India is awaiting necessary approvals for a proposed Rs 41,000-crore port on Great Nicobar Island. Once the approvals are received, the ministry plans to float a request for proposal (RFP) for the project. The planned port, located in Galathea Bay, is expected to serve as an international container terminal or transshipment port. With a capacity to handle 16 million containers per year, the port aims to surpass India’s only current international transshipment terminal in Kochi. Major international routes passing through Galathea Bay will compete with other transshipment hubs such as Singapore and Colombo. The environmental permit for the project is still under review.
The development and operation of the transshipment port have attracted interest from around ten parties, including notable names like Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), JSW Infra, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), Container Corporation, and Royal Boskalis Westminster. The ministry plans to develop the port under a landlord model, with the state port authority acting as a regulator and landlord while private companies handle port operations. In this model, private companies lease the infrastructure and maintain their own cargo handling equipment, with the landlord receiving a share of the private company’s income.
Once the necessary approvals are obtained, India’s Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways aims to develop a port on Great Nicobar Island. The proposed port in Galathea Bay is expected to become an international container terminal or transshipment port with a capacity to handle 16 million containers annually. This would surpass India’s current transshipment terminal in Kochi. The project is still awaiting environmental approval, but expressions of interest have already been submitted by companies such as Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, JSW Infra, Rail Vikas Nigam, Container Corporation, and Royal Boskalis Westminster. The ministry plans to adopt a landlord model for the port, where the state port authority acts as a regulator while private companies handle operations and infrastructure maintenance. This model allows private companies to maintain their own cargo handling equipment, with the landlord receiving a portion of their earnings.