Maritime Construction Projects Worldwide: Most Expensive

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The year 2023 saw a total of 89 major maritime construction projects worth of $61.6 billion across the globe. Among these, the ten maritime construction projects were worth $41.6 billion. This was approximately 68% of the total value of the investments. Asia has been the dominant force in maritime infrastructure development. Furthermore, with 80% of the projects being in the region. Hence, demonstrating its commitment to improving maritime infrastructure and its position as the global leader in the industry.
Pinglu canal maritime construction project
1. The Pinglu Canal Maritime Construction Project 

In the lead is the most expensive maritime construction of 2023 the Pinglu Canal in Guangxi, China. It tops the charts at a whopping $10.8 billion (CNY72.7 billion) investment cost. Namely, the Ministry of Transport, China (MOTC), whose key responsibilities are managing waterways and maritime transport, sets the tone of this program. This program is the manifestation of China’s steadfast objective to improve its internal water infrastructure. One of the national strategies to establish a connection system and boost domestic trade.

It is located nearly 84 miles (135 kilometers) in length. The Pinglu Canal develops a key channel between the Pintang River and the Qinjiang River in the southern China. Thus, connects two major waterways of the south China’s region. This is a major endeavor that encompasses the creation of an extensive system. It comprises, canals, locks, and other similar elements. They aim to demonstrate technological capabilities of China in large-scale engineering.

Typically, Pingyuan Canal will involve the erection of three locks. One to be the largest lock to conserve and use water as well. Around 340 million tons (375 tons) of material are to be dug during the excavation. However, The Pinglu Canal project presents a challenging engineering task. Its achievement will improve the blockade network in the inland waterways of China. Furthermore, will accelerate the development of its neighboring regions through the carriage of cargoes and materials.

2. Bagamoyo Port: Tanzania’s Maritime Construction Project

Coming second in the most expensive maritime construction projects is Bagamoyo Port in Africa. It represents the most significant maritime investment which comes with a $10billion valuation. Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) heads the initiative. Therefore, intends to build a port at 75 kilometers (46.6 miles) north of the capital Dar es Salaam.

The new port, with an annual cargo fine-tuning capacity of 20 million tons, is going to de-clog the Dar es Salaam marine site, which has been over-loaded since 2011. Adding to the port, the project also comprises a new 34-kilometer (21,1-miles) road and a 65-kilometer (40.4-miles) railway line, which joins the Bagamoyo port to existing transport routes.

Bagamoyo Port project is one component of a broader development initiative, known as Bagamoyo zone (a designated economic zone covering a land area of 2,500 hectares (6,178 acres). This integrated approach which backs the vision of Tanzania to transform Bagamoyo into hub of economic activity illustrates use of the port as a tool for growth and prosperity.

The maritime construction project works began in August 2023 and the completion date is in 2026 approximately. The Bagamoyo port project is in identification as a landmark of a transformation in the maritime history of Tanzania. Tanzania is seeking to raise its infrastructure and position itself as a regional hub, which will provide it with new economic opportunities and lead to Tanzania’s role as a strategic gateway for trade and investment in East Africa.

Bagamoyo Port Maritime Construction Project

3. Jedidah Islamic Port Expansion: Enhancing Saudi Arabia’s Maritime Capabilities

The marine ambitions of Saudi Arabia saw a major boost with a USD7 billion (SAR26.3 billion). Facilitating expansion of the Jeddah Islamic Port and its marine facilities in Al-Khumra region. The strategic initiative is headed by the Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani). This highlights Saudi Arabia’s determination to modernize its maritime infrastructure. Moreover, to turn the country into a regional trade and commerce hub.

The grand maritime construction project intends to upgrade the Jeddah Islamic Port considerably, raising its container handling capacity to 20 MTPA. Such a large increase in capacity will allow the port to handle the influx of maritime traffic. Additionally, serve the growing needs of the region’s trade market.

In order to attain this ambitious target, the project covers a holistic upgrade of the port’s facilities and infrastructure. In addition, the project will involve the expansion of berths and passenger terminals. Moreover, the construction of modern quay walls and public facilities as well as other marine facilities. Furthermore, the project involves the installation of sophisticated equipment like quay cranes, RTGs, and public utilities, which guarantees that the port will be operated in the most efficient and safe way possible.

The Jeddah Islamic Port expansion project marks an important step in Saudis’ endeavor to diversify their economy and to cut the reliance on oil exports. The country is trying to develop its maritime capacities in order to increase the interest of international trade and investment and make itself a strategic gateway for businesses which are targeting Saudi and other markets in the region.

The Jeddah Islamic Port expansion project is scheduled to start in March 2023 and is expected to be completed in 2030. The construction will revamp the maritime landscape in Saudi Arabia and, consequently, drive the country towards a more prosperous and interconnected future.

4. Laem Chabang Port Expansion Phase 3: Strengthening Thailand’s Maritime Trade

The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) began the third phase of the Laem Chabang Port. It began in Chonburi Province, Thailand with an investment of $4.5 billion.

The maritime construction project aims at building four modern container terminals. Moreover, with a combined capacity to handle 7 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) annually. This significant raise in handling capacity will make Laem Chabang Port’s annual throughput achieve a remarkable 18 million TEUs upon completion. Thus, firmly establishing the port as a major maritime gateway for Thailand as well as for the neighboring economies.

For the realization of this huge development, the maritime construction project includes a total renovation and modernization of the port infrastructures. This encompasses the creation of new piers, wharves, road systems, railway networks, and navigation channels aimed at increasing operational efficiency and port capacity to handle bigger ships, thus enabling the port to compete better in the global maritime trade market.

Furthermore, the project includes the installation of modern equipment and latest information technology systems. State-of-the-art quay cranes, yard cranes, and digital solutions will allow the port to handle the cargo quicker, reduce the turnaround times and give a smooth experience to shipping companies and their customers, making Laem Chabang a top choice for the maritime trade.

The Laem Chabang Port Extension Project demonstrates Thailand’s resolve to promote maritime trade and development. Through the improvement of its port infrastructure and capabilities, Thailand tries to attract more international trade and investment that will strengthen its position as the strategic port for businesses that are looking for access to the dynamic economies of Southeast Asia and beyond.

5. King Abdulaziz Port Maritime Construction Project: Revitalizing Saudi Infrastructure

Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) is performing a major makeover of the Container Terminals. The maritime construction project taking place in King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the investment costs $2 billion (SAR7.5 billion). This initiative reflect the Kingdom’s vision to upgrade the marine infrastructure. Hence, become the port of the region for commerce and trade.

The revamp of the port constitutes a full-scale renovation of its facilities. The goal is to improve the port’s output capacity and efficiency. This maritime construction project also involves the remodeling of the first commodity flix container terminal. Additionally, the enlargement of the second, aimed at adapting the port to more maritime traffic. Therefore, satisfying the growing requirements of the local trade industry.

This is to attain this objective, the project undertakes the rehabilitation and reconstruction of a number of berths, which enable the vessels to dock without endangering or loosening them. In addition, a 225-meter long quay wall will also be built in order to create more berthing space and enhance the general appearance and efficiency of cargo handling.

Moreover, the refit incorporates the refinishing of associated facilities including buildings, facilities, and utilities. This system embraces a comprehensive approach which allows the operation of the port to be run efficiently with no hassle experienced by shipping companies as well as their customers.

The port renovation in the name of King Abdulaziz is as important as it is to Saudi Arabia Muhammad and became an essential part of the scheme to diversify economy and decrease the dependence on oil exports. The nation, through boosting its shipping willpower, is targeting attracting international businesses and investments hoping to become a strategic gate for the businesses that want to enter the Saudi and regional markets.

6. Machilipatnam Port: India’s Ambitious Deep-Water Port Maritime Construction Project

The Machilipatnam Urban Development Authority (MUDA), India, is in partnership with the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR). In accordance, undertaking a deep-water port project in Machilipatnam, India. At a cost of $1.7 billion or INR120 billion. This project is India’s response to developing its maritime infrastructure. Aiming to being a key player in world trade and logistics.

The Machilipatnam Port maritime construction project aims to construct a modern deep-water port. Using a well-equipped facility on a vast 1,553-hectare (3,838-acre) site. Having capacity to handle 55 MTPA of cargo. This considerable cargo handling capacity is to be realized by the building of 12 berths. Thus, to accommodate different types of maritime traffic such as container ships, bulk carriers, and general cargo vessels.

In addition, the project includes a detailed development plan. This covers the efficient flow of goods and materials. This comprises the erection of a 200-meter (656-foot) quay wall. It is sufficient for berthing and makes the loading and unloading of cargo easier.

Moreover, the project incorporates the construction of many auxiliary facilities. Including parking areas for boats, a launching ramp, administrative buildings, storage facilities, and workshops. These supporting structures will enable the port to function as a comprehensive ecosystem. Consequently, all the aspects of maritime trade and logistics will be taken care of.

The Machilipatnam Port project is a manifestation of India’s move to strengthen its maritime power and to be the center of global trading. Through upgrading its port infrastructure and cargo handling capacity, India seeks to lure more foreign investment. Furthermore, facilitate the movement of goods. In addition, promote the economic growth in Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere.

7. Port of Genoa Upgrade: Modernizing Maritime Infrastructure in Italy

The Port System Authority of the Western Ligurian Sea (PSAWLS) launched a $1.5 billion (€1.3 billion) renovation project for the Port of Genoa in Italy’s Liguria. This project is the most expensive maritime construction project in Europe. It stands out as a major move toward the modernization of the Italian maritime infrastructure. Moreover, it makes the Port of Genoa a dominant player in the region’s trade and logistics business.

By upgrading the Port of Genoa, the owners are planning that it will become a smart facility able to accommodate larger vessels and handle higher volumes of maritime cargo. This objective will be achieved by implementing a huge 6.2-kilometer (3.9-mile) new breakwater. Additionally, it would project 500 meters (1,640 feet) further offshore and to water depths of 30 to 45 meters (98 to 148 feet). This new breakwater shall provide direct and easy access to cargo and passenger terminal facilities. However, through a wide turning basin, which should ensure a safe maneuvering of the ultra-large ships.

Along with the new breakwater, the project also includes building of a 3.2-kilometer (1.9-mile) quay. Therefore, there is enough berthing space for ships of all types and sizes. The project involves the demolition of up to 2 kilometers (1.3 miles) of the existing breakwater in order to allow the construction of the new facilities and rearrange the port’s layout to optimize its operation.

Through its ongoing investment in infrastructure and capabilities, the port of Genoa is strengthening its status as a strategic gateway for international trade and investment attracting more businesses from around the world that are interested in the dynamic economies of the Mediterranean region.

Port of Genoa Maritime Construction Project

8. Maspion International Container Port: A Collaborative Effort in Indonesia

DP World Ltd (DP World), Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ), and Maspion Group (PT Maspion) came together. They initiated the Venture of developing an international seaport infrastructure and industrial logistics park. Through a total investment of IDR16.8 trillion or $1.2 billion. This concerted effort demonstrates a great progress in increasing Indonesia’s maritime infrastructure. Additionally, making it become a key logistics and trade center in the region.

The Maspion International Container Port project has the objective of building a world-class container port, which shall be able to handle around 3 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of cargo a year. This significant handling capacity and the industrial park with logistics complex on 110 hectares (272 accords) of land will hold a space for the comprehensive ecosystem, that efficiently will move and store goods and materials.

The project development will be paused in phases in the first phase. In this first phase, both the construction of a container terminal with a capacity of 1 million TEU and the 110 hectares (272 acres) industrial logistics park will be completed. These pioneering operations will be the basis for the future growth of the enterprise. Therefore, will satisfy the growing needs of the region’s maritime trade.

The project will consist of both permanent and temporary supporting facilities, including container terminals, container storage areas, a switchyard, warehouses, distribution units, loading and unloading facilities, access roads, administrative buildings, and parking facilities.

From the build-up of construction in October 2023 to the end of 2027, the Maspion International Container Port project can be interpreted as an initiative by a number of parties to change the maritime landscape of Indonesia.

9. Mulapeta Cargo Port: Boosting India’s Export and Import Facilities

The Department of Ports of Andhra Pradesh, India, are building a new port for cargo handling. Located at Srikakulam District requiring an allocation of $1 billion (INR82.9 billion). Devoted to increase India’s export and import avenue, hence, a vital objective of this project. Making the country a global market leader in trade and logistics.

The objective of Mulapeta Cargo Port maritime construction project is to construct a modern cargo terminal. Within an area of 2,049 acres (or 829 ha.). It is planned to take the port to unparalleled success. This is with a capacity to manage 65 million of general cargo and 12 million of coal annually. Accordingly, making it the only port in the region ready to handle any maritime traffic and grow with the requirements of the sector.

The first part is a thronging of four berths – three general cargo berths and a bulk cargo terminal – with the aggregate volume being 24 million tons (26.5 million tons) on 202 hectares (499 acres) of land. The second phase is on with the completion of the first one will add 9 more berths to the port, thus, port’s capabilities will be expanded.

The project timeline for this development has been set with construction commencing in April 2023 and scheduled for completion in 2026. Thus, the ground-breaking Mulapeta Cargo Port project is all set to become a game changer in the Indian maritime landscape, with the potential to boost the nation’s economy in the future.

Mulapeta port Maritime Construction project
10. Sihanoukville Port Deep Water Expansion: Cambodia’s Maritime Construction Projects

Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (SAP) is implementing a large-scale deep-water expansion of Sihanoukville Autonomous Port. Thus, investing USD 973 million (KHR3,964 billion). The port is planned to be enlarged and a deeper water aquatic carriageway is under process. Therefore, it can capacitate more and larger vessels and an enhanced maritime trade activity.

The project is essentially a multi-phase development program that combines building of the third terminal of a new port. The first phase of this project involves the construction of a container terminal. It is going to be 350 meters (1,148 feet) long and 14.5 meters (47.6 feet) deep. Moreover, featuring an amazing handling capacity of 1.29 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) per annum.

Stage two aims at extending the port terminal even further by procuring an additional container terminal that is 430 meters (1,411 feet) long with a depth of 17.5 meters (57.4 feet). During phase three, the handled capacity will increase, handling ships with FEU values of 10, 000 and 15, 000 TEUs respectively.

Moreover, the infrastructure core will be complete by additional objects consisting of the container yard, customs and administrative building, the access road, and the installation of cargo handling equipment and terminal operating system.

The beginning ceremony took place in May 2023 and the construction accomplishment followed soon after. The total deep water port expansion project will be complete by the end of 2029. This magnanimous endeavor stands for Cambodia’s pledge to improving its waterways and being the waterway to trade and investment in Southeast Asia


These ambitious projects, spanning Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, highlight the global drive to enhance maritime capabilities. Furthermore, facilitate trade, and streamline logistics. With timelines ranging from 2026 to 2030, these undertakings face diverse challenges.

From complex engineering feats to coordinating collaboration among multiple stakeholders. However, the potential rewards are immense. These projects promise to reshape the maritime landscape. Moreover, boost economic growth. Thus, will propel nations towards a more interconnected future.

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