Mormugao Port

From Global Energy Monitor

Mormugao Port is a multipurpose port in Goa, on India's west coast, with a history dating back to 1885.[1] Coal imports have been seen as a potential source of growth at the port, with several new coal import terminals approved for development in recent years - although the future of these projects has been clouded by conflicts with the Goa state pollution control board (GSPCB).


The map below shows the two coal-handling terminals at the Mormugao Port. Berths 5a and 6a, operated by JSW, are directly to the northwest of berth 7, operated by Adani.

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The website for Mormugao Port describes the port as follows:[2]

"Murmugao Port, one of the oldest ports on the west coast of India, with a fine natural harbour, has been relentlessly serving the nation in its economic development for over a century. The Port was declared a Major Port in 1963. Mormugao Port is an iron ore exporting Port of India with an annual throughput of around 50.02 million tonnes of traffic. Though ore is the predominant cargo, there has been a steady increase in liquid bulk and general cargo traffic ever since its joining the ranks of the Major Ports of India. Excellent facilities, high productivity, streamlined administration and a dedicated workforce all go towards making this Port one of the most efficient Port in the Indian subcontinent."

A Coal Age report on Indian coal terminals confirms that iron ore exports remained the port's main business as of 2012, but notes that "The port also imports about 2 million tons of coking coal for the steel plants at Bhadravan (SAIL) and Hospet (Jindal)."[3]

In 2016-17, Mormugao handled 12.75 million tonnes of coal imports, mostly from Australia, Indonesia, and South Africa. JSW was the main importer, with 10.11 million tonnes, followed by Adani with 1.9 million tonnes. Vedanta also imported smaller amounts of coal through Mormugao Port for its pig iron plant in Goa.[4] Coal volumes decreased in subsequent years: The port handled 8.2 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal in 2018-2019, and 9.3 million tonnes in 2020-2021.[5]

In November 2020, in response to environmental protests from local residents, Goa Chief Minister Promod Sawant committed to reducing coal-handling volumes at the Mormugao Port by 50%. No timelines for the volume reduction were provided.[6][7]

Coal Terminals

JSW and Berths 5a & 6a

As of 2014 the main user of Mormugao Port was JSW Steel, owned by the Jindal Group, with imports of about 7 million tonnes of coal and exports of about 1 million tonnes of finished steel products annually through the port.[8] JSW's Berth 6 was listed as having coal handling capacity of 7.5 million tonnes.[9]

In January 2016, the Goa State Pollution Control Board directed subsidiaries of Adani and JSW to cut coal imports by 25 per cent through their facilities at Mormugao Port, after reviewing data which showed air pollution at up to double permitted levels.[10]

As of 2017, JSW was still importing coking coal for its plant in Toranagallu, Karnataka through berths 5a and 6a.[4]

In January 2018, the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) revoked JSW's permit to operate all coal operations at its berths in Mormugao port after finding the company had committed a “gross breach” of its permit conditions by importing over 10.11 million tonnes in 2016/2017 when it is only authorised to import 5.48 million tonnes a year. The board gave the company 15 days to remove coal currently stored at the port. The GSPCB also found the Mormugao Port Trust had transhipped coal from unauthorised moorings and had no pollution control measures in place.[11]

Adani and Berth 7

The Berth 7 coal facility (owned by Adani and officially known as Adani Mormugao Port Terminal Private Limited) has an annual import capacity of about 5 million metric tons.[12] The terminal was approved in 2009[13] and commissioned in 2013. India’s largest private multi-port operator APSEZ (Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, a division of the Adani Group) has permission to handle coal at the berth until May 2040.[14]

As of July 2014, a trial run was in progress at the new terminal.[15] However, in December 2014, Goa's state pollution control board threatened to revoke the terminal's environmental permit, citing dust pollution from loading operations, failure to operate the required sprinkling and dry fogging systems, failure to install a continuous ambient air quality monitoring system, and failure to properly cover coal stockpiles with tarpaulins. [16]

In late 2014, private companies including the Jindal and Adani Groups expressed interest in increasing the port's coal handling capacity through dredging, which would permit the entry of larger capesize vessels.[17]

In January 2016, the Goa State Pollution Control Board directed subsidiaries of Adani and JSW to cut coal imports by 25 per cent through their facilities at Mormugao Port, after reviewing data which showed air pollution at up to double permitted levels.[18]

In fiscal year 2016-17, Adani imported 1.9 million tonnes of coal through berth 7 for clients in clients in Goa, Bellary, and Hospet. This represents less than 40% of Adani's awarded capacity of 5.2 mtpa.[4]

Vedanta and Berth 8

In September 2016, mining conglomerate Vedanta signed a deal for a ₹1,145 crore (approximately US$171 million) redevelopment of berths 8 and 9 at Mormugao Port. Scheduled for completion within five years, the re-developed berths will handle all types of cargo, including iron ore, coal, limestone, bauxite and general cargo with an expected capacity of 19.22 MTPA.[19] According to a 2016 Environmental Impact Assessment report and a 2017 article in the Indian Express, the coal berth allotted to Vedanta (berth 8) has a capacity of 6.99 million tonnes[20] and will handle coal for Vedanta's proposed Bellary steel plant.[4]

In July 2020, State-owned Mormugao Port Trust scrapped the contract with Vedanta for the redevelopment of berths 8 and 9. The trust cited the delay in getting environmental and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances for the project, as well as powerful public opposition to the project.[21]

Gammon and Berth 11

In late 2012, the port awarded a 30-year concession to Gammon Infrastructure for development of a coal terminal at Berth 11 with an annual capacity of 2.33 million tons.[22] However, in January 2014, Goa's state pollution control board refused to grant the mandatory environmental permits for the plant, prompting the Mormugao Port Trust to cancel the project. This in turn prompted Gammon Infrastructure to seek court intervention to keep the project alive. The district court granted a stay of the cancellation order in April 2014, leaving the berth 11 project in limbo.[23] As of early 2018, given the lack of subsequent press coverage and the publication of a 2016 EIA report indicating that berth 11 is to be used for liquid cargo in the future,[20] the Gammon coal terminal at Berth 11 appears to have been abandoned.

Environmental Impact of Increasing Coal Imports at Mormugao Port

In October 2017, articles published by the Indian Express exposed the severe environmental damage caused by coal imports to Mormugao Port and the subsequent transport of this coal by road, rail, and river to plants in Goa and Karnataka states. The articles projected that coal imports at Mormugao would increase from 12.75 million tonnes in FY 2016-17 to 25 million tonnes in 2020 and 51.6 million tonnes by 2030.[4][24] As noted in other recent press reports, fishermen and environmental groups also remain deeply concerned about the devastation to local fisheries that would result from the proposed dredging of Mormugao Port.[25][26]

Project Details

  • Operator: Mormugao Port Trust (MPT)
  • Location: Headland Sada, Vasco da Gama, Goa 403804, India
  • Existing Capacity (Tonnes per annum): 12.5 million (Berth 6: 7.5 million, Berth 7: 5 million)
  • Additional Proposed Capacity: 6.99 million (Berth 8) (Cancelled)
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Imports
  • Projected in service:
  • Cost of expansion:
  • Financing for expansion:
  • Coal Source:

Articles and Resources


  1. "Mormugao Port Trust, Goa" Mormugao Port Trust homepage, accessed February 2015.
  2. "Mormugao Port Trust, Goa" Mormugao Homepage, accessed February 2015.
  3. "The Coal Terminals of India ", Coal Age, April 30, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "Coal on move, 25 tonnes a minute, is choking Goa, more is on the way," Indian Express, Oct 26, 2017
  5. COMMODITY - WISE TRAFFIC HANDLED AT MORMUGAO PORT FROM 2018 - 2019 TO 2020 - 2021, Mormugao Port Trust, 2021
  6. Devyani Madaik, After Citizens Protest, Coal Handling At Mormugao Port Trust To Be Reduced By 50%: Goa CM, The Logical Indian, Nov. 26, 2020
  7. Coal handling at Mormugao Port Trust to be reduced: Goa CM, Economic Times, Nov. 15, 2020
  8. "Deepening of Approach Channel for Capesize Vessels," Mormugao Port Trust Feasibility Report, Aug 2014
  9. "Mormugao Port Trust: Berthing Policy," Mormugao Port Trust, Feb 10, 2015
  10. Bob Burton, "Is India starting to waver on coal?" EndCoal, Feb 3, 2016
  11. "GSPCB hearing on SWPL’s excess coal handling today," Herald Goa, Jan 8, 2018
  12. "About Mormugao Port" Adani Ports website, accessed February 2015.
  13. "Mundra Port Bags Mormugao Port Coal Terminal Development Concessions" Capital Market, August 10, 2009.
  14. "APSEZ to commission coal terminal at Mormugao Port this fiscal" Economic Times, June 23, 2013.
  15. "Mormugao Port to be expanded through two PPP projects" Goa Herald, July 22, 2014.
  16. "Adani terminal at MPT gets GSPCB notice for pollution" Times of India, December 31, 2014.
  17. "Jindal, Adani among firms keen on Goa dredging project" The Hindu Business Line, December 15, 2014.
  18. Bob Burton, "Is India starting to waver on coal?" EndCoal, Feb 3, 2016
  19. "Vedanta inks pact for redevelopment of Mormugao port" The Economic Times, September 22, 2016.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Environmental Impact Assessment Study for Re-development of Berth 8,9 & Barge Berth at MPT, Goa" Wapcos Ltd, October 2016.
  21. P Manoj, Mormugao Port Trust scraps Vedanta deal over delay in environmental nod, Business Line, July 14, 2020
  22. "MPT awards Rs 3 bn project to Gammon Infra" Infrastructure Today, January 2013.
  23. "Court stays termination of Gammon Infrastructure’s Goa Port project" Economic Times, April 7, 2014.
  24. "Coal Burying Goa: What the toxic train leaves in its wake," Indian Express, Oct 26, 2017
  25. "Public hearing ends, ‘no’ to Mormugao Port Trust’s projects," The Times of India, May 6, 2017
  26. "Meet the Mega-Project That Goans Fighting ‘Dirty Coal’ Are up Against," The Wire, Aug 31, 2017

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