Nissan Motor India for the next 10 years will use only the Ennore port to export cars manufactured at its Oragadam plant near Chennai.

In case the Ennore port is unable to handle cars for some reason, Nissan and its alliance partner Renault can use the Chennai port and no other port. The other ports in the vicinity are Krishnapatnam, 30 km from Ennore, and L&T’s Katupalli port, which is adjacent to Ennore port.

An exclusive 10-year agreement was signed today between Nissan Motor India and Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) in the presence of Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan. It can be terminated if either Nissan or Renault exports cars through any other sea port other than Ennore or Chennai.

The earlier agreement signed in September 2009 was valid for three years. Under the new agreement, Nissan can enjoy concessions in the use of wharf up to 60,000 units per year at the rate of 0.36 per cent of the wharfage for a car. The company will also get free parking space for the first 15 days and priority in handling of automobile units in the port, says a company press release.

Qualitative commitment

Ennore port earns around Rs 50 crore from Nissan every year, said an official of EPL.

The qualitative commitment of this agreement underlines Nissan’s commitment to Tamil Nadu, said Kenichiro Yomura, President of Nissan India Operations, and Managing Director and CEO of Nissan Motor India. The company is confident of meeting the targets for its export markets while also increasing market share to 10 per cent in the near future, .

Yomura signed the agreement with M.A. Bhaskarachar, Chairman and Managing Director, EPL. Nissan started exports from Ennore port in September 2010 and was the first motor company to use the port as an export gateway. Since then, it has exported over two lakh vehicles to over 100 countries in the last two years.

Nissan set up its plant at Oragadam in 2008 by investing around Rs 4,500 crore. In March 2010, Nissan and Renault jointly set up a manufacturing plant and a research and development centre at Oragadam.

Ennore port has many firsts to its credit. It was the first major port under the Government of India to be corporatised. Initially, the port was conceived to handle only thermal coal for Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. However, its vast potential has been fully appreciated by all the stakeholders and it is developing fast by way of commissioning one project after the other, said Vasan.

raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 20, 2013)
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