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Economy

Operator builds port in South India to challenge Colombo, Dubai

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Billionaire Gautam Adani, who controls India's biggest private port operator, has pledged to build in about three years the nation's first deep water transshipment harbor that will challenge Colombo and Dubai for handling container cargo in the region.

     Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Monday signed an agreement with the southern Kerala state to develop the Vizhinjam port, estimated to cost about 75 billion rupees ($1.15 billion). The proposed facility is on the international shipping route connecting Persian Gulf, the Far East and Europe, according to the company.
   Setting up world class ports are crucial for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal to boost the share of manufacturing to 25% of gross domestic product by 2022 from about 15% and turn the nation into a global manufacturing hub. Indian ports have traditionally suffered from overcrowding and lack of modern equipment, leading to long turnaround time for ships. Adani is betting that Vizhinjam port's natural seawater depth of about 24 meters will help it attract large container vessels that now dock at Colombo and Singapore.

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