JSW Jaigarh Port signs MoU with Konkan Railway and MMB for Jaigarh-Digni Rail Link

JINDAL RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE LIMITEDJSW Jaigarh Port, a SPV of JSW Infrastructure, achieved an important milestone on December 1st when it signed a memorandum of understanding with Konkan Railway Corporation Limited and Maharashtra Maritime Board for developing the 33.7 kilometer Jaigarh-Digni rail link through the PPP model at a total cost of INR 775 crore. This followed Mr Devendra Fadnavis, CM of Maharashtra, giving his nod for the agreement.  As part of the agreement, M/s Jindal Rail Infrastructure Ltd – a flagship company of JSW Infrastructure Ltd will construct the Railway line between Jaigarh-Digni.

The MoU was inked and the documents exchanged by Captain B V J K Sharma, JMD & CEO of JSW Infrastructure Limited, Mr Paraag Jaiin-Nainuttia, IAS, CEO of MMB and Mr Dinesh Kumar, GM of Infra at KRCL, in the presence of the CM, Mr Sajjan Jindal, CMD of JSW Group, Mr Bhanu Prakash Tayal, MD of KRCL and other dignitaries.

This is the first project under the policy on participative models for rail connectivity and capacity augmentation projects released by the Railway Ministry in 2012. The rail link would not only boost industrial growth in the hinterlands but also play a major role in retaining the cargo base of Maharashtra state.

Sanctioned by the Railway Ministry, the traffic and bankability study has already been carried out for the project. It has a 30 month timeline with a revenue projection of INR 114 crore for the first year. The traffic study for the project was carried out by PricewaterhouseCooper.

JSW Jaigarh Port is the first deep-water, all-weather, 24×7 private port in Maharashtra. Situated between Mumbai and Goa, in Ratnagiri district, the port is fully operational at present, with 2 berths having cargo handling capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum. Since its inception in 2009, with an initial investment of INR 850 crore, the port has handled about 25 million tonne of cargo. In its Phase II expansion which is underway, the capacity is being augmented to 65 mtpa by creating facilities for handling containers, RoRo vessels, LNG, POL, bulk and break-bulk cargo.

The port is currently connected to the National Highway 17 through the existing State Highway 106.

Mr Fadnavis said on the occasion that “For all projects above INR 1,000 crore, there will be a fast-track special committee set up to regularly monitor them.”

Mr Sajjan Jindal said on the sidelines of the event that “We cannot operate the entire capacity as the connectivity needed is not in place. So, at present, only about 8 million tonnes capacity utilisation is happening. Once the connectivity is in place, the port capacity utilisation will also go up.”

Mr Jindal suggested that if other ports in the state are also connected better, it would help improve infrastructure, generate employment and also contribute significantly in increasing Maharashtra’s gross domestic product.