Navlakhi Port

From Global Energy Monitor

Navlakhi Port is an all-weather port located at the southwest end of the Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat, India.[1]

The port imports coal and has an installed coal handling capacity of 8.05 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).[2]

Port operator GMB (Gujarat Maritime Board) has proposed plans to mechanize the port's operations, with the goal of increasing coal handling capacity to 20 MTPA.[3]

Navlakhi Port has been repeatedly cited, and occasionally closed, for pollution violations related to its handling of coal.[4]


The port is located about 50 km from Morbi in Morbi district, Gujarat, India.

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Navlakhi Port, with a depth of only 9 to 12.5 meters,[5] is too shallow to accommodate large vessels for direct unloading of coal. Ships carrying imported coal typically anchor offshore, offloading onto smaller vessels which then transport the coal to Navlakhi Port, where it is unloaded and stacked in huge heaps or transferred onto trucks for supply to consumers.[2]

On May 10, 2013, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) issued a closure notice to Navlakhi Port for its violation of environmental norms. The port remained closed for over a month,[2] leaving 700,000 tonnes of imported coal (primarily from Indonesia) stranded at the port awaiting delivery to power plants in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.[1]

In December 2013, operations at Navlakhi Port were again suspended as India's environmental watchdog, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), heard a complaint from a local resident alleging violation of pollution norms and damage to agricultural activities due to improper handling of coal at the port.[4]

In August 2014 the NGT again cited pollution concerns at Navlakhi Port, finding that the coal handling system of GMB and GPCB had still not been updated and improved to avoid air and water pollution. NGB reprimanded the GMB for not providing adequate infrastructure to curb air and water pollution at the port, and also criticized the GPCB for poor monitoring and failure to take punitive action against GMB.[2]

In 2021, the Gujarat government estimated that the port handled about 4.5 million tonnes of coal per year, along with 2.5 million metric tonnes of salt and 1 million tonnes of ceramics.[6]Since 2009, coal has comprised roughly 98% of all cargo handled by Navlakhi Port, rising from 2.7 million tonnes in 2009 to 6.2 million tonnes in 2016.

Proposed Expansion

In response to India's growing demand for imported coal, the Gujarat Maritime Board has proposed expanding coal operations at Navlakhi Port through mechanization. The proposed Rs 1 billion expansion would involve installation of a new 870-meter jetty equipped with a mobile harbor crane, two stacker/reclaimers with belt conveyors, a storage shed, a rapid wagon loading system, and a static truck loading system. The GMB projects that the fully mechanized port could handle coal volumes of 20 MTPA by 2020.[3]

A Gujarat resident filed a petition to nullify the environmental clearance for the port expansion in November 2020, but the National Green Tribunal upheld the environmental clearance, allowing the expansion to proceed.[7] The Gujarat government estimated that the expansion would cost ₹192 crore (approximately US$26 million). After missing the target completion date of 2020, the government did not provide a new target completion year.[6]

Project Details

  • Operator: Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB)
  • Location: Morbi district, Gujarat, India
  • Existing Coal Capacity (mtpa): 8 million
  • Additional Proposed Capacity (mtpa): 12 million
  • Status: Proposed expansion
  • Type: Imports
  • Projected in service:
  • Cost of expansion: ₹192 crore (approximately US$26 million)
  • Coal source: Indonesia

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