Essar Ports has received Paradip Port Trust approval to commence work on an all-weather coal berth in Orissa.

Earlier, the Paradip Port Trust got the Ministry of Environment and Forest approval for the deep-draft coal berth which was awarded to Essar Ports on build, operate and transfer basis on a 30-year concession.

Essar Ports has now received formal intimation from the Paradip Port Trust to commence mobilisation towards construction activities, said the company in a press release on Wednesday. Essar Ports will build a mechanised berth of 370 metre length with a handling capability of 14 -18 million tonnes a year (mtpa).

The project was part of the Paradip Port Trust's plans towards mechanisation of coal imports. Last year, the port handled about 12 mt of imported coal. According to the concession, this volume, along with any incremental volume, will shift to the mechanised berth to be built by Essar Ports. Mr Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director, Essar Ports, said the construction work would start at the earliest with a target to commission in 18-24 months.

Capacity

Essar Ports currently operates 88 mtpa of port capacity between Vadinar and Hazira in Gujarat. The Hazira port can handle dry bulk and break bulk cargo up to 30-mtpa, while Vadinar has liquid cargo handling capacity of 58 mtpa. The company is expanding its total capacity to 158 mtpa by 2014.

The deep-draft coal berth at Paradip is expected to add 14-18 mtpa of third-party cargo volumes to Essar Ports.

The company is currently developing two terminals at Paradip with a capacity of 30 mtpa comprising an iron ore berth of 16 mtpa and a coal berth of 14 mtpa. The company is also setting up a dry bulk terminal at Salaya in Gujarat with 20 mtpa capacity. Additionally, it plans to expand Hazira port capacity by 20 mtpa to 50 mtpa.

suresh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on July 11, 2012)
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