India is considering investing Rs 10,000 crore for building a transshipment port at Great Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal to provide shippers an alternative to similar ports in the region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as he inaugurated the first undersea optical fibre project to provide high-speed internet to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The 2,312-kilometer-long submarine optical fibre cable from Chennai to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, laid at a cost of Rs 1,224 crore, will provide “better and cheaper connectivity”,  he said.
“There is a proposal to build a transshipment port at Great Nicobar at an estimated expenditure of about Rs 10,000 crore. Large ships can dock once this port is ready,” he said at the inauguration ceremony held through video link.
The dedicated container transshipment terminal at the strategic port locale in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands along the Bay of Bengal coastline offers two geographical advantages — proximity to the busy east-west international shipping route that can facilitate shorter transits and greater economies of scale, and deep natural water depths that can accommodate the latest generation of mega-ships.
The transshipment port would enable big ships to anchor and raise India’s share in maritime trade as well as create new job opportunities, he said.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration had last year floated an expression of interest for the container transshipment terminal with the Free Trade Warehousing Zone in South Bay, Great Nicobar Island to provide Indian shippers an alternative to Colombo, Singapore and Port Klang (Malaysia) transshipment ports.
The Prime Minister said Andaman & Nicobar will be developed as a hub of port-led development as it is at a competitive distance from many ports of the world.
As India looks to establish itself as an important player in global supply and value chain, it is very important to strengthen the network of waterways and ports, he said adding legal bottlenecks in the development of port infrastructure are also being removed continuously.
The Government’s focus, he said, is also on promoting ease of business and simplifying maritime logistics.
He referred to in-principal approval being given for building a deep draft greenfield seaport on the west coast and work starting on a deep draft inner harbour on the east coast.
While blue economy like fisheries, aquaculture, and seaweed farming will accelerate the development of Andaman and Nicobar, the Government is making efforts to have more facilities at the Islands.
The Prime Minister said that when India is moving forward with the resolve of self-sufficiency and is establishing itself as an important player in the global supply and value chain, it is very important to strengthen our network of waterways and our ports.
Source:- Daily Shipping Times