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Sagarmala is the first port of call for specialised firms


The Centre’s coastal connectivity project, Sagarmala, is not just an opportunity for big companies like Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, Essar, AP Moller, and J M Baxi, but also for behind-the-scenes contractors such as Louis Berger, Aaecom India, and CH2M Hill India.

Port development requires a lot of construction work such as developing jetties, platforms, and berths, and these create business for such firms, according to a shipping ministry official.

The Sagarmala Development Company was incorporated in September 2016 to promote port-led development in the country. The initial authorised share capital of the firm is Rs 1,000 crore and a subscribed share capital of Rs 90 crore.

Its objective is to identify port-led development projects under Sagarmala and provide equity support for the special purpose vehicles set up by the ports, and state or central ministries. It will provide funding and execute residual projects funded by other means. 

The execution of the identified projects will be taken up by ports, state governments, maritime boards, or central ministries, through public-private partnerships or by involving the private sector.

The company will act as the nodal agency for coordination and monitoring projects under Sagarmala and others emerging from master plans or other sources.

Through the Sagarmala project, the government aims to harness the country’s 7,500-km coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways, and strategic locations on key international maritime trade routes. 

Louis Berger, which provides engineering, architecture, programme, construction management, environmental planning and economic development services, is betting big on Sagarmala.

“Having worked in India for more than 20 years across a wide range of sectors, Louis Berger has extensive experience and the capability to contribute significantly to each of the Sagarmala project’s strategic goals. We can offer various services, such as techno-economic feasibility studies, master planning, detailed project report and detailed engineering services required for developing the port,” said Kshitish Nadgauda, senior vice-president and managing director (Asia), Louis Berger.

Aaecom India’s line of business includes professional engineering services while CH2M HILL India offers consulting, programme and construction management, strategic planning, procurement, architecture planning, energy management, and infrastructure planning services.

According to a British High Commission report, published in February 2017, India’s port sector has long been constrained by limited capacity, traditional infrastructure, and poor equipment.

The government needed to take initiatives for greater private participation, the report said.

Source: Business Standard 

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