Chettinad International Coal Terminal (CICTL), the private terminal at the Ennore port, is targeting to handle nearly five million tonnes (mt) of coal/coke by current financial year ending March 31, 2012.
The buoyancy in handling is in the backdrop of the expected shifting of coal from Chennai port to Ennore from October on the directions of the Madras High Court.
Commencing operations in January this year, the terminal has already handled 1 mt of coal.
It is possible to handle another 4-5 mt by the year end with more number of customers approaching the company to handle coal and coke, according to sources.
The terminal has so far berthed and discharged 21 vessels including Panamax ships for importers from various industries such as cement, steel, power, coke and coal traders.
Some of the customers who have used the terminal so far are Coal and Oil, Kyori, Adani Coal, OPG Power, India Coke, India Cements and Kalyani steel.
The list of customers is getting bigger every month.
The facility enables importers to save freight cost as Panamax vessels' freight on per tonne basis is less than smaller vessels for the same origin and destination.
The facility of CICTL has been used by large scale importers; in coming months CICTL is looking forward to berth many more Panamax vessels.
For instance, an importer saves $4-5 a tonne on freight by bringing larger vessels to Ennore port, which has a draft of 13.5 metre compared to 12 metre at Chennai port, the source said.
The Chennai-based Chettinad Group, which created the Chettinad International Coal Terminal, in 2006 was awarded a licence agreement by Ennore Port Ltd to design, build, operate, market and transfer a common user coal terminal.
The terminal was completed with equipments and conveyor systems, yard and evacuations systems with capacity to annually handle 8 mt coal/coke at project outlay of about Rs 400 crore.