Thursday, July 25, 2024

JSW Infrastructure Explores Port Privatization and Galathea Bay Project

JSW Infrastructure, India’s second-largest port operator in terms of volumes, is actively pursuing opportunities arising from the government’s port privatization initiatives. In a recent interview, Arun Maheshwari, the Joint Managing Director and CEO of JSW Group’s JSW Infrastructure, expressed the company’s keen interest in exploring these opportunities. He also mentioned their evaluation of the ambitious mega transshipment port project proposed for Galathea Bay on the Great Nicobar Island.

Maheshwari highlighted the significant potential created by the government’s initiatives, saying, “The way the government is opening up opportunities in India is enormous. And as the second-largest port company in India with a strong balance sheet and aptitude to grow in this sector, we would look at every big opportunity in the port sector.” However, he added a note of caution regarding the Galathea project, stating, “We are exploring it (Galathea) but aren’t 100% sure whether we will go ahead with it.”

JSW Infrastructure is one of the ten companies, which include entities like Dutch dredging contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, Container Corporation of India Ltd, and Essar Ports Ltd, that have submitted expressions of interest for the Galathea Bay transshipment project. According to TK Ramachandran, the Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping, the project’s value is estimated to be between ₹65,000-85,000 crore.

JSW Infrastructure currently manages nine state port concessions situated on both the west and east coasts of India. The company, traditionally focused on bulk cargo, plans to diversify by expanding its container and liquid portfolios, aiming for non-bulk cargo to contribute a third of its revenues in the coming years. Maheshwari explained, “We are recent entrants into the container and liquid segments. We got into the container segment only two years back,” adding that the container segment presently represents only 2% of their total volumes. Additionally, the company is considering partnering with prominent shipping lines and potentially establishing its own container port terminal as part of their broader strategic plan.

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