Wadhwan Port - also known as Vadhavan Port - is a proposed new port 140km north of Mumbai on the coast of Maharashtra state, India. The port is to be built on 5000 acres of land reclaimed from the sea near the town of Dahanu, Palghar district. Envisioned as India's first foreshore port, the project is to be jointly administered by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), which has a 74% equity stake, and the Maharashtra Maritime Board, which holds the remaining 26%.
A coal terminal at Dahanu Port was first proposed in the 1990s, but faced strong opposition from local fisherman. In June 2015 it was reported that proponents were helping move the project forward by 1.) making the state government an equity partner in the project along with the central government, and 2.) building the port on reclaimed land. The port would have the capacity to handle 60-100 million tonnes of cargo per annum, mainly coal, and would cost roughly R6,000 crore. It is planned that coal handling would be shifted out of the Haji Bunder Port in Mumbai. The state and central government said they plan to have the port finished within three years, although they have yet to secure permits.
The proposed port is to be built on reclaimed land near Wadhavan, approximately 10km southwest of Dahanu. This location has the advantage of a natural 20-meter draft, allowing larger bulk carriers to come closer to the port than they can at existing ports along the Maharashstra coast such as Mumbai and Nhava Sheva Port. In November 2016, Maharashtra's government requested that India's ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) exclude the proposed port from the Dahanu eco-sensitive zone due to its status as a foreshore facility. Once excluded from the eco-sensitive zone, next steps include JNPT's applying to the MoEFCC for environmental clearance, issuance of terms of reference by the MoEFCC, and preparation of an environmentsl impact assessment. As of April 2017, the new port was projected to be a five-phase, Rs30,000 crore project, with the first phase, capable of handling 25 million tonnes per annum, to be commissioned by 2025.
Interest in the new Wadhwan Port is largely driven by desire to clean up Mumbai Port Trust's Port of Mumbai and JNPT's Nhava Sheva Port by moving "dirty" cargo such as thermal coal and coke offshore. As coal handling is discontinued at these existing ports, the construction of a new large-capacity coal port is seen as critical in keeping India's coal-fired thermal power plants operational.
Local residents continue to express their strong opposition to the Wadhwan Port project. Citing concerns about environmental damage, fishermen from 13 local communities gathered in December 2016 to block the efforts of a team of surveyors who were studying potential locations for the new port. In addition to Wadhwan Port, JNPT is also considering development of two additional coal port projects along the Maharashtra coast, the Rewas Port just south of Mumbai and another port further south in Vijaydurg.
- Operator: Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) & Maharashtra Maritime Board
- Location: Wadhwan, Dahanu, Palghar, Maharashtra, India
- Annual Capacity (Tonnes): 25-100 million
- Status: Proposed
- Projected In Service: 2025
- Type: Imports
- Coal Source:
- Cost: Rs30,000 crore
Articles and Resources
- "5,000 acres to be reclaimed to build port in Dahanu" Times of India, April 7, 2017.
- "New port near Mumbai," Financial Express, June 23, 2015
- "Mumbai port to cut polluted cargo as city plans makeover," DNA India, January 24, 2017
- "JNPT plans Rs 1,000 cr port on west coast," DNA India, January 19, 2017
- "Dahanu fishermen protest construction of port, hold up survey," Hindustan Times, December 4, 2016