Gangavaram port invites bids for dredging

Santanu Sanyal Visakhapatnam | Updated on August 22, 2011

Gangavaram port, a private port on the coast of Andhra Pradesh, proposes to undertake shortly capital dredging work, the first such work since the port started operation three years ago, and has accordingly invited bids.

“Major international dredging contractors and a few Indian firms, including the State-owned Dredging Corporation of India, have picked up the tender papers but we do not know how many of them of them will finally submit the bids”, according to a spokesman for Gangavaram Port Ltd, the company that owns and operates the port.

The scope of the proposed dredging work involves removal of about 3.5 million cubic metres of silt (including rocks and 2.5 lakh cubic metres of sand trap) over a period of five to six months. The cost estimate is to be finalised depending on the bids. The work order is likely to be issued within next two to three months.

New berths

The bulk of the work will be undertaken to facilitate the construction of four new berths – three multi purpose berths and one fully-mechanised coal berth – proposed to be built within 24 months from the day the contract is awarded.

A limited volume of dredging will be undertaken in the existing operational areas “to increase comfort and safety margins”. For example, the navigable channel near the breakwater will be widened by about 50 metres and deepened by an additional 1.3 metres to reach a depth of 21.5 metres, up from the present 20.2 metres. The proposed dredging however is unlikely to improve the draft of the existing berths - 18.5 metres each in coal and iron ore and 14.5 metres in each of the three other multipurpose berths.

The new coal berth will have a draft of 18.5 metres and the three other multipurpose berths a draft of 14.5 metres each.

The berth construction and dredging will be two of the five components of the Rs 1,200-crore expansion programme being planned for the port, the three others being marine, railways and mechanisation. The work on all five components is to start almost simultaneously.

The spokesman claimed that no other Indian port has the kind of draft Gangavaram port offers with the result the port handles perhaps the largest number of Capesize vessels with an average parcel load of about 150,000 tonnes. “In the past three years we handled a total of 750 ships, including 600 bulk carriers and 10 per cent of bulk carriers were Capesize vessels”, he added. In 2010-11, the port handled a total traffic of more than 14 million tonnes, likely to exceed 16 mt in the current fiscal.

Published on August 22, 2011

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