Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Wednesday, January 19, 2000




Mundra port to handle MMTC coal consignment

Vinod Mathew


GUJARAT Adani Port Ltd (GAPL) has wooed MMTC Ltd to route a consignment of two lakh tonnes imported coal from Australia through its Mundra port, which is slated to be dedicated to the nation on January 23.

The coal would be handled over the first six months of 2000 and will comprise three 70,000 DWT vessels. This is part of the $32-million imported coal consignment being handled by MMTC Ltd for the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) thermal power plant at Ropar.

Talking to Business Line, Dr. B.C. Mallik, Director (Marketing), MMTC Ltd, said, ``Since we started the import of coal through the Gujarat coastline in September last, we have brought in two consignments through the Navlakhi port in Saurashtra. The ship that has come in at the Mundra port is the third consignment. To that extent, we have decided to look at various ports in Gujarat for bringing in coal from Australia with the Pipavav port also being identified as another possible destination.''

A spokesperson for the Adani group said that GAPL had signed a contract with MMTC for routing two lakh tonnes of coal from Australia during the first six months of 2000. This would form one-fifth of the total volume of one million tonne of coal that MMTC will bring through the Gujarat shores over the next 12 months, at an estimated cost of $32 millions, the coal being brought in by PSEB having a CNF charge of $32 per tonne, over and above the handling and transportation charges.

According to Adani sources, the ship that is docked at the Mundra port, m.v. Maersk Taurus, with a length of 225 metres and carrying a 67,289 tonnes of coal, is the largest ship to dock at the port alongside the berth at draft of 13.13 metres. The handli ng of the coal at a speed of 15,000 tonnes per day, which started on January 15, is expected to be over by January 20, the turnaround time being five days.

Against this, the Navlakhi port, operated by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), though less congested than many other ports on the Gujarat coast, could manage a cargo discharge of only 4,000 tonnes per day, thus adding to the ship turnaround time four-fol d.

Moreover, the coal import there was carried out by way of lighterage mid-stream as the Navlakhi port has a draft of only four-five metres. This meant a turnaround time of 18-20 days per vessel, with the lighterage activity required to cover a mid-stream distance of up to six km.

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