Bhavnagar Port Faces Existential Crisis: World’s First CNG Terminal Project Raises Serious Concerns
In the pursuit of transforming India into a global economic powerhouse, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been at the forefront, championing visionary initiatives and development projects. However, despite his relentless efforts, some roadblocks have emerged, hindering the progress of key endeavors. One such project is the ambitious CNG Terminal at Bhavnagar New Port in Gujarat, a brainchild of Prime Minister Modi, which has faced setbacks in land acquisition, jeopardizing its future.
Gujarat’s leading newspaper Divya Bhaskar published detailed report of world’s first CNG terminal project raises serious concerns. To read full article, please click below link:
The Bhavnagar New Port was envisioned to house groundbreaking utility projects, including the world’s first CNG terminal, a container terminal, Ro-Ro terminal, and a raw material handling jetty. Announced by Prime Minister Modi, these projects aimed to propel Bhavnagar into the league of strategic ports, facilitating industrial growth and global trade. Unfortunately, since 2021, the crucial process of land acquisition has stalled, casting doubts on the realization of these transformative projects.
Union Cabinet Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, representing Bhavnagar, is an influential voice in the central government. Despite his role, the CNG terminal project has faced a two-year-long delay in acquiring the necessary land. The Rs. 4000 crore CNG Terminal project, a joint venture involving London’s Foresight Group, Netherlands’ Boskalis Group, and Mumbai’s Padmanabh Mafatlal Group, is hanging in the balance due to the unresolved land acquisition issue.
The proposed Bhavnagar Port expansion includes a comprehensive plan featuring a 235-meter wide outer channel, a turning circle and basin, a tug berth, a multi-purpose terminal, a container terminal, a CNG terminal, and a railway yard. All the requisite surveys for the project have been completed, but the absence of progress in land acquisition over the past two years raises concerns among potential investors.
Bhavnagar’s strategic location in proximity to Dholera SIR and the emerging smart city adds significance to the proposed port projects. The visionary Prime Minister Modi has identified Bhavnagar Port as a key hub for facilitating the transportation of raw materials and finished goods for businesses looking to establish projects in the vicinity of Dholera and Bhavnagar.
The CNG port project, requiring 170 hectares of land and an additional 14 hectares of adjoining private ownership, has hit a roadblock since 2021 due to the lack of initiative in land acquisition by government officials. The internal sources reveal a stark contrast in the proposed land prices, with the government’s land acquisition committee suggesting Rs. 13000 per square meter for the CNG Terminal project, while a private party across the creek offered 200,000 square meters at a mere Rs. 432 per square meter.
This discrepancy in land prices, while not necessarily indicating corruption, raises questions about the efficacy and commitment to Prime Minister Modi’s dream project. According to reliable sources, the Foresight Group from London has issued a warning to the government, signaling their intention to withdraw from the project if the entire land acquisition process is not completed within a month.
Beyond the CNG port, the Bhavnagar Port expansion holds the key to the development of industries such as container terminals, Ro-Ro terminals, and fertilizer production in the surrounding areas. Notably, the Arcelor group, led by Laxmi Mittal, has proposed a massive steel plant near the coastal areas of Bhavnagar and Dholera. With a production capacity of 70,000 tons of finished goods daily, the success of this project hinges on the availability of a nearby port, making Bhavnagar Port a critical factor in its realization.
Similarly, leading fertilizer companies are eyeing the opportunity to establish their plants near Bhavnagar if the port project materializes. The overall industrial growth and economic prosperity in the region depend on the timely execution of the Bhavnagar Port expansion.
The Netherlands’ Boskalis Group plays a crucial role in the proposed CNG Terminal project, offering their expertise in dredging and creating a deepwater channel. Recent visits by Boskalis engineers to Bhavnagar have affirmed their readiness to undertake the task, provided the necessary land acquisition is completed. With modern technologies and equipment, Boskalis Group asserts its capability to create a navigational channel between the mountains within 45 days once the project receives the green light.
In conclusion, the Bhavnagar Port expansion projects, particularly the CNG Terminal, stand at a critical juncture. The delayed land acquisition process poses a substantial threat to the realization of Prime Minister Modi’s vision for a thriving and strategically positioned port. Addressing the challenges and expediting the land acquisition process is imperative to unlock the vast economic potential and transform Bhavnagar into a key player in India’s industrial landscape. The time is ripe for decisive action to ensure that these visionary projects see the light of day and contribute significantly to India’s economic growth.