The new berth can handle bulk fertilisers, coking coal, and iron ore fines with higher draft vessels.

Our Bureau

Mangalore, Oct. 6

THE newly constructed multipurpose deep-draft berth of the New Mangalore port was formally handed over by the contractor to the port authorities here on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr P. Tamilvanan, Chairman of the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT), said the Rs 40.82-crore berth could handle about 3.5 million tonnes of cargo initially. At present, 90,000-DWT vessels with a draft of 14 metres can be handled at the berth.

The berth can finally handle 1.25-lakh-DWT vessels.

Initially, the dredged depth of the berth will be 15.1 metres.

Its final dredged depth will be 17 metres, he said.

The dredging operation of the berth will be completed this fiscal, and will be made available for operations.

He said that the port had received requests from shippers to provide a deep-draft berth to handle bulk commodities.

The new berth can handle bulk fertilisers, coking coal, and iron ore fines with higher draft vessels.

Traffic: Traffic projections by various agencies suggest that the port required 15-metre berth by the end of 2020-21.

Following this, the port decided to construct a deep-draft berth.

Navayug Constructions Ltd of Visakhapatnam was awarded the construction contract in 2003, he said.

Mr Tamilvanan said the NMPT plans to set up mechanised facilities for handling iron ore cargo at the deep-draft berth.

The port, which handled 33.89 million tonnes of cargo last fiscal, has registered a growth of 12.55 per cent till now in the current fiscal.

Stating that the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is keen on setting up an LNG terminal at the port, he said the port also wants to provide bunkering and dry dock facilities to its users.

MPs Mr D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Ms Manorama Madhwaraj also spoke on the occasion.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 7, 2005)
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