Adani Leads $2.1 Billion Project for Mumbai Airport - Business Guardian
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Infrastructure Development

Adani Leads $2.1 Billion Project for Mumbai Airport



That will ramp up to 90 million by 2032 if there’s enough demand, according to Arun Bansal, the chief executive officer of Adani Airport.

About 22 miles southeast of Mumbai’s badly congested airport that opened 82 years back, workers in hard hats are high up on scaffolds building an alternative. Others are flattening a nearby hill to finish the first of two runways so that India’s financial capital can finally have a second airport.

In many ways, the Adani Group-helmed $2.1 billion project in the satellite city of Navi Mumbai is a microcosm of the massive infrastructure overhaul underway in India as its Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to outrun China.

For Gautam Adani, it’s a test of whether he can put India on the global aviation map. The airport, with a lotus shaped design mimicking India’s national flower as well as the election symbol for Modi’s party, should start operations in March next year with capacity for 20 million passengers a year. That will ramp up to 90 million by 2032 if there’s enough demand, according to Arun Bansal, the chief executive officer of Adani Airport Holdings Ltd., India’s largest private sector airport operator that also runs the existing Mumbai airport.

Navi Mumbai airport will be a “perfect” candidate to become an international transit hub on par with some of the world’s busiest aerodromes like Dubai, London, Frankfurt and Singapore, Bansal said in an interview. “Geographically, India is in a very advantageous situation,” he said. “There’s hardly any country where you can’t fly within 12 hours.”

A wave of plane deals and airport buildouts can aid that ambition. Air India Ltd., IndiGo and upstart Akasa have ordered more than 1,100 aircraft, combined. The world’s most-populous nation is also plowing $12 billion into building more than 72 new airports by 2025. Navi Mumbai airport is one of two landmark infrastructure projects in the city that will test the mettle of Adani, the mining-to-media conglomerate that survived a withering short-seller attack last year.

The other is the redevelopment of the Dharavi slum in the heart of Mumbai, which served as a backdrop for acclaimed movie, Slumdog Millionaire. It’s one of the world’s largest and densest slum clusters where families of six often live in 100-square tenements and 80 may share a toilet. Global Logistics Projects like these are crucial to Modi’s vision of India becoming a developed nation by 2047.

But it’s not going to be easy. Similar to how Adani is trying to get a larger slice of the global logistics market— the group started a first-of-its-kind transhipment port in October at India’s southernmost tip to beckon world’s biggest container ships — Navi Mumbai airport is attempting a redux of that in air passenger traffic.

However, it’s up against stiff competition from the likes of Singapore’s Changi Airport or London’s Heathrow, which ferried almost 59 million and 79 million passengers last year respectively. What’s more, London has six major airports, while New York City has three, signalling how far Mumbai has to go to catch up.

The new facility will also need to have ample flights slotted in and ensure people and checked-in bags move fast enough in case of short layovers, according to Mabel Kwan, managing director at Alton Aviation Consultancy. There have to be on-ground amenities for fliers with longer layovers, too. Emirates, Qatar Airways QCSC and Singapore Airlines Ltd., which all have strong presence in India, will likely request slots at Navi Mumbai airport, she said.

Adani Airport is in discussions with the “majority” of international airlines on how to expedite passenger flow, Bansal said, adding he expects 30% of the facility’s traffic to come from international flights and 70% from domestic. He didn’t specify if any airlines have committed to flying from the new facility.

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Ahmedabad Airport enhances capacity with new stands and upgrades



The new stands provide opportunities for airlines to add more connections to Ahmedabad.

Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, has undergone notable enhancements recently. The latest upgrade includes five new parking stands at Terminal 2, boosting flight operations and aircraft parking capacity. This expansion addresses the increasing air travel demand in Ahmedabad. The airport now offers 18 parking stands, up from 13, to accommodate commonly used aircraft by domestic and some international airlines.

The new stands provide opportunities for airlines to add more connections to Ahmedabad. Additionally, Terminal 2 is undergoing rapid expansion with four new aerobridges, bringing the total to eight. The airport has also implemented the Multiple Aircraft Ramp System (MARS) on four existing aerobridges, optimizing stand usage.

With these advancements, Terminal 2 can now handle 18 Boeing 737/Airbus A320 aircraft, commonly used by domestic and some international carriers, and five wide-body aircraft like Boeing 777/787 or Airbus A359, and Cargo colossal AN 124, B744, Beluga aircraft mainly operated by international airlines. Terminal 2 is also geared up for handling Saudi Airlines B747-400 aircraft, a 450-seater, towards Hajj operations.

The increased capacity not only enhances passenger traffic but also improves operational efficiency for accommodating larger aircraft in the future. This opens doors for international carriers to consider Ahmedabad for frequent technical halts alongside regular passenger flights. Furthermore, Ahmedabad has welcomed a new twice-weekly direct cargo flight operated by Ethiopian Airlines, connecting the city to Addis Ababa.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport remains committed to ongoing development and upgrades, aiming to become a leading aviation hub for western India.

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Infrastructure Development

Mumbai coastal road, sea link connected by second girder



The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) achieved a significant milestone in the Mumbai Coastal Road Project by successfully installing a second large Bow Arch String Girder connecting the Mumbai Coastal Road and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link on Wednesday morning. This accomplishment was made possible under the guidance of Municipal Commissioner and Administrator Bhushan Gagrani, along with Additional Municipal Commissioner (Eastern Suburbs) Dr. Amit Saini.

The girders, installed along the route from Nariman Point to Worli, each weigh an impressive 2,500 metric tons and measure 143 meters in length, 31.7 meters in width, and 31 meters in height.

Taking to its official social media handle, the BMC announced the successful installation of the second girder, stating that the work commenced at 3 am and concluded at 6:07 am on May 15, 2024. Installing this second girder posed a challenge due to its proximity, just 2.8 meters away from the first girder installed earlier.

The key figures overseeing the project included Managing Director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, Smt. Ashwini Bhide, Additional Municipal Commissioner (City) Dr. Ashwini Joshi, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special Engineering) Chakradhar Kandalkar, Chief Engineer (Mumbai Coastal Road Project) Girish Nikam, Deputy Chief Engineer Mantaiah Swami, President of HCC Ajit Gulabchand, along with officials, engineers, and staff of the Mumbai Coastal Road Project.

The BMC indicated that the next phase of the Mumbai Coastal Road Project would commence soon after the completion of the remaining works. This project, led by the BMC, aims to enhance connectivity and ease traffic congestion along the coastal stretch of Mumbai.

Notably, this achievement follows the installation of the first bow arch string girder earlier in April this year, marking a significant step forward in the Mumbai Coastal Road Project. The project holds immense importance in improving transportation infrastructure and connectivity in Mumbai, thereby facilitating smoother movement of vehicles and commuters along the coastal route.

The successful installation of the second large Bow Arch String Girder represents a significant advancement in the ambitious Mumbai Coastal Road Project, which seeks to address the city’s burgeoning transportation needs and alleviate congestion along its coastal areas. By seamlessly connecting the Mumbai Coastal Road with the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, this project promises to enhance connectivity and accessibility for residents and commuters alike.

The girders, with their substantial dimensions and weight, underscore the engineering prowess and meticulous planning involved in executing such a complex infrastructure undertaking. The close coordination among various stakeholders, including municipal authorities, engineers, and project managers, has been instrumental in ensuring the smooth progress of the project.

Moreover, the successful installation of the second girder demonstrates the BMC’s commitment to prioritizing infrastructure development and urban planning initiatives aimed at enhancing Mumbai’s liveability and resilience. As one of India’s premier metropolitan centers, Mumbai faces unique challenges related to population density, urban sprawl, and transportation infrastructure. Projects like the Mumbai Coastal Road play a pivotal role in addressing these challenges and fostering sustainable growth and development.

The Mumbai Coastal Road Project is not only about enhancing connectivity but also about promoting economic growth and prosperity.

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Infrastructure Development

GMR Intl Airport upgraded by S&P Global on tariffs, robust traffic



Hyderabad’s GMR International Airport (GHIAL) on Tuesday was upgraded to a higher rating of ‘BB’ from ‘BB-’ by S&P Global Ratings due to stronger profitability, higher approved tariffs and a robust recovery in traffic. The stable rating outlook reflects a positive view that GHIAL’s ratio of operating cash flow (OCF) to debt will recover to 8 per cent to 9 per cent over the next two years, ending 31 March, 2025, (fiscal 2025) and 2026, from S&P’s estimate of 6.3 per cent in fiscal 2024 driven by robust traffic growth and an improvement in EBITDA margin to close to 50 per cent, S&P said on Tuesday.

The stronger performance tariff (aeronautical revenue per passenger, excluding cargo, ground handling, and fuel farm) will increase to Rs 440 per passenger in fiscal 2025 and Rs 420 in fiscal 2026, from Rs 300-R 400 over the past two years. This increase will support a doubling of EBITDA to about Rs 15.8 billion in fiscal 2025, from fiscal 2023 levels. Similarly, we expect operating cash flow to double to more than INR 6 billion in fiscal 2025.

The airport’s profitability has also recovered significantly during the first nine months of fiscal 2024, raising expectations of strong EBITDA margins of 50 per cent to 53 per cent over the next three years backed by higher passenger traffic and non-aeronautical revenue, particularly in the retail and duty-free segments. Moreover, GHIAL’s operating costs will likely stabilize following the completion of its terminal expansion.

The global rating agency also observes robust recovery in passenger traffic which will support improvement in financial performance. The estimate is that total passenger traffic at Hyderabad airport will increase to about 29 million passengers in fiscal 2025 and 32 million in fiscal 2026, registering a 10-15 per cent annual growth. We believe inflation and higher air fares will not materially dent travel demand.

The airport’s total passenger traffic rebounded strongly to 25 million passengers in fiscal 2024, about 115 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. Domestic and international traffic surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Strong demand for both leisure and business travel, higher airlines’ capacity, and an increase in daily flights on commissioning of recent terminal expansion will support traffic growth for GHIAL.

However, GHIAL’s capital spending for its next phase of expansion and for dividends may limit significant improvement in cash flow metrics. The company’s next phase of expansion over fiscals 2028-2031 would have a total project cost of about Rs 55 billion. Large expansion work will likely start in fiscal 2028 with the construction of a second runway. As such, capital expenditure (capex) needs could increase significantly during that year to Rs 6 billion, from Rs 5 billion in fiscals 2026-2027.

According to S&P Global, GHIAL may resume dividend payments of Rs 2 billion in fiscal 2025 and the payout could further rise to Rs 3-5 billion in subsequent years. In S&P’s view, greater clarity on GHIAL’s dividend policy and distributions are key credit considerations. Materially higher dividends than we estimate could weaken the company’s financial ratios.

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Infrastructure Development

Railways developing Amrit Yard Model to ease congestion



After Amrit Bharat stations and trains, the Ministry of Railways is now working on the Amrit Yard concept to decongest saturated yards on the railway network.

Following the introduction of Amrit Bharat stations and trains, the Ministry of Railways is currently focusing on implementing the Amrit Yard concept. This initiative aims to alleviate congestion in saturated yards across the railway network, which has hindered train speeds and movement despite previous track expansion efforts. To materialize the Amrit Yard concept, the ministry has formed a committee comprising senior railway board officials and a senior executive from the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).
According to officials, the concept borrows from the model of Smart Yards, which the railways have been aiming to implement for a while to reduce train evacuation time from yards. “With tracks increasing at a major rate, the outcomes on train mobility have not been that efficient as trains on these increased tracks still have to halt at junctions with limited capacity, delaying the process even further,” he added. The panel is studying national and international best practices for assessing yard mobility and will make recommendations for standardisation of data across signalling systems.
However, former railway officials said board-level interventions would bear little fruit until major projects such as the yard remodelling of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) Junction (formerly Mughalsarai), among others, were completed. DDU Junction is the biggest chokepoint on the Indian Railways network due to the volume of trains passing through it.
The station contains the largest railway marshalling yard in Asia which caters to around more than 500 trains a month. Another railway board official, in response to the paper’s queries, said that the committee is currently looking into measures such as optimising the placement of freight trains on loop lines (extra lines) so that the maximum number of trains can be accomodated in a smooth manner.

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Gujarat and Karnataka lead clean energy transition: IEEFA Report



The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Ember’s report, “Indian States’ Electricity Transition” (SET), underscores Karnataka and Gujarat’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. The report emphasizes that these states have demonstrated robust performance in various aspects, successfully integrating renewable energy sources into their power sectors and making significant progress in decarbonization efforts.

The report evaluates the clean electricity transition preparedness at the subnational level. In 2024, the report adds five more states, totaling 21 states and representing about 95% of India’s annual power demand in the past seven financial years (FY) 2018 to 2024 (up to November). This year, the assessment parameters have been updated to better align with states’ electricity transition progress, incorporating stakeholder feedback and data availability. According to the re – port, progress in states like Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh needs to improve, similar to last year’s findings. While these states are in the early stages of their transition, they now need to focus on increasing renewable energy deployment, enhancing short term market participation and strengthening their distribution companies.

The report was released when temperatures in India started to soar, leading to the Ministry of Power preparing for a projected peak power demand of 260 gigawatts. Harsh summers also offer the chance to utilise more clean energy like solar power. Although, this requires the preparedness of states to transition to clean sources of electricity. “Cyclical weather conditions coupled with faster economic activity is pushing India’s peak electricity demand higher every year.

While the central government is taking steps to integrate more renewable energy into the grid, states, too, need to be prepared to do so. Gauging subnational progress now requires constant monitoring of several parameters at the state level. A purely national overview can often overshadow subtle intricacies at the state level, which may stymie the country’s electricity transition,” said the report’s contributing author, Vibhuti Garg, Director – South Asia, IEEFA.

The report finds that while the national-level progress towards the electricity transition is progressing well, it is far more uneven at the state level. “Some states have developed progressive steps, such as boosting decentralised renewable energy deployment, promoting solar pumps for agricultural needs, and enhancing storage solutions to ensure more renewable energy in their electricity systems. But, the transition to clean electricity is still in its infancy in many states.

These states should look to accelerate the efforts to access the benefits of a transition to clean electricity and to ensure that they are not left too far behind the better performing states,” said the report’s contributing author, Aditya Lolla, Asia Programme Director, Ember. One of the major findings from the report was that several states are exhibiting preparedness to embrace electricity transition.

They perform well in the Readiness and Performance of the Power Ecosystem and Market Enablers dimensions but need to improve in the Decarbonisation dimension. “Delhi’s power system is well-prepared for decarbonisation, while Odisha has robust market enablers to support decarbonisation in the power sector.

However, their actual decarbonisation progress so far does not match their strengths in these aspects, highlighting the importance of performing well in both dimensions to effectively achieve decarbonisation goals,” said co-author Neshwin Rodrigues, Electricity Policy Analyst, Ember.

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Infrastructure Development

Modi 3.0 Unveils Ambitious Railway Investment Plan of Rs 10-12 Lakh Crore



The plan introduces a revamped ticket refund scheme ensuring refunds within 24 hours, streamlining the process and improving customer satisfaction.

In a significant move aimed at enhancing passenger convenience and modernizing the Indian Railways, officials have unveiled a comprehensive 100- day plan following the 2024 elections. This ambitious plan encompasses a range of passenger-friendly measures and infrastructural developments. One of the key highlights of the plan is the introduction of a revamped ticket refund scheme, which guarantees refunds within 24 hours, replacing the existing process that could take up to one week.

This initiative aims to streamline the refund process and enhance customer satisfaction. Additionally, Indian Railways is set to launch a comprehensive ‘super App’, consolidating various railway-related services into a single platform. From booking and cancelling tickets to live tracking of trains and ordering food onboard, the super App is poised to revolutionize the passenger experience. Moreover, the government has announced the implementation of the “PM Rail Yatri Bima Yojana,” an insurance scheme designed to provide coverage to all rail passengers, ensuring their safety and well-being during their journey.

In line with efforts to modernize the railway infrastructure, an investment ranging from Rs 10 to 12 lakh crore over the next five years has been earmarked. This substantial investment aims to transform Indian Railways into a modern, world-class transportation system equipped with stateof-the-art facilities. The introduction of Vande Bharat trains across India marks another significant development, with plans to categorize them into three types based on route lengths: Vande metro, Vande chair car, and Vande Sleeper, catering to different travel distances. Furthermore, the government envisions the creation of three economic corridors spanning over 40,000 kilometers, with an investment exceeding Rs 10 lakh crore.

These corridors are expected to boost economic growth and connectivity across the country. In a bid to enhance passenger experience, over 1,300 railway stations are slated for modernization through private participation, offering world-class amenities such as shopping malls and airport-like waiting lounges. Expanding metro networks in urban cities and introducing more high-frequency trains, like the partially launched RAPID rail between Delhi and Meerut, are also part of the ambitious plan. The propose

st the formation of the new government. These initiatives underscore the government’s commitment to revolutionizing India’s railway sector and fostering economic growth and connectivity nationwide. This initiative represents a significant stride towards enhancing passenger convenience and aligning railway services with modern expectations.

By slashing the refund processing time from up to one week to a mere 24 hours, the plan demonstrates a commitment to efficiency and customer-centricity. Streamlining the refund process not only reduces inconvenience for travellers but also fosters trust and confidence in the railway system. With such proactive measures, the Indian Railways is poised to redefine standards of service excellence, setting a precedent for other sectors to emulate in the journey towards progress and innovation.

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