Gangavaram Port, located in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, is India's deepest port. Inaugurated in July 2009, it has a depth of 21m. It is managed by Gangavaram Port Ltd., a special-purpose company floated by Mr. DVS Raju, who serves as its Chairman and Managing Director. The company is owned by the DVS Raju Group (59%), global Private Equity firm Warburg Pincus (30%) and the Andhra Pradesh Government (11%).
Construction of the port began in December 2005, and commercial operations commenced in August 2008. The port was formally inaugurated on 12 July 2009, by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. Fishermen in the Gangavaram and Dibbapalem villages, who were directly affected by the construction of the port, demanded construction of an alternative jetty at Yarada and a relief and rehabilitation package.
The DVS Raju group invested Rs. 18.50 billion in the development of the port. Gangavaram Port Ltd. has taken a loan of Rs. 11.70 billion from a consortium of 13 banks, including the State Bank of India, to fund the Phase I development.
Comparisons with the Vizag port
The first client of the Gangavaram Port Ltd. is the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd., which runs the Vizag Steel Plant, and earlier used the Visakhapatnam Port. The Gangavaram Port Ltd. plans to build conveyors for taking imported raw materials directly to the Vizag Steel plant, in order to reduce the railway transportation costs.
The Union Government of India, which owns the Visakhapatnam port, had proposed a joint venture between the Visakhapatnam port and the private operator of the Gangavaram port to make sure that the Visakhapatnam port's business remains unaffected. However, this proposal was rejected by the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu.