India’s largest port operator, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd., is building a new mega port in Vizhinjam, Kerala, that can handle some of the world’s biggest ships and boost the country’s trade and economy.
The Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport, which is expected to be completed by 2024, will have a capacity of 18.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year, making it one of the largest container terminals in South Asia. It will also have a depth of 20 meters, allowing it to accommodate vessels of up to 18,000 TEUs, which are currently unable to dock at any Indian port.
The project, which is estimated to cost $1.2 billion, is part of Adani Group’s ambitious plan to expand its port network across India and beyond. The conglomerate, led by billionaire Gautam Adani, already operates 12 ports in India, handling about a quarter of the country’s cargo traffic. It also has interests in ports in Australia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
The Vizhinjam port will give India a strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean region, where China has been increasing its presence and influence through its Belt and Road Initiative. The port will also reduce India’s dependence on transshipment hubs in Colombo, Singapore and Dubai, where most of its cargo is currently routed.
According to Adani Ports, the Vizhinjam port will generate about 10,000 direct and indirect jobs and contribute about $2.8 billion to India’s gross domestic product over 20 years. It will also enhance Kerala’s tourism potential, as it will have a cruise terminal and a marina.
The project has faced some challenges, such as land acquisition issues, environmental concerns and legal disputes. However, Adani Ports has said that it is committed to completing the project on time and complying with all the regulations and norms.
The Vizhinjam port is one of the many initiatives that Adani Group is undertaking to transform India’s infrastructure and energy sectors. The group is also involved in renewable energy, airports, data centers, defense and agriculture.
Adani Group is one of India’s most valuable companies, with a market capitalization of about $200 billion. Its founder and chairman, Gautam Adani, is the second-richest person in Asia and the 14th-richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.