Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP), Kolkata (SMPK), formerly Kolkata Port Trust, is looking to achieve close to 14 per cent growth in business in 2023-24.

According to Rathendra Raman, Chairman, SMPK, a few key focus areas have been identified for growing its cargo handling capacity and transforming into a green port by setting up solar projects both in Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock and increasing forest cover.

“The port is on the growth path. In 2022-23 we recorded nearly 13 per cent growth in cargo handling at 65.66 million tonnes. We had a net surplus of ₹304 crore, which is an improvement of 150 per cent compared to the previous years. This year we are looking to sustain this growth and also grow at close to 14 per cent,” Raman told businessline.

Expansion plans

Plans are afoot to increase its cargo handling capacity to 130 mt by 2030, at an estimated capital expenditure of ₹4,000 crore.

To augment the port’s capacity, SMPK is stressing on PPP projects in a big way. During FY-23, it had awarded three major projects with an investment of ₹730 crore through PPP mode. These three projects are expected to increase capacity by 6.7 mt.

With a view to reduce congestion and increase port capacity, SMPK is planning to develop extended port gate system at Balagarh at an investment of around ₹445 crore, out of which around ₹343 crore would be invested through PPP. Close to ₹98 crore has already been allocated for basic infrastructure development, and the port plans to pursue PPP project with an investor to manage port activities, he said.

The Balagarh facility is expected to be a mixed use port capable of handling 1.6 mt of coal and 85,000 containers.

The port is betting big on growing traffic to Nepal, Bangladesh and Northeast India through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route. Earlier this month, it had sent an inaugural shipment carrying 20,000 bags having 1,000 metric tonnes of cement to operationalise the Sittwe Port in Rakhine State of Myanmar.