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Ennore Port Ltd is planning to double its car storage capacity from the current 10,000 units in a year to cater to the growing demand. Sanjay Kumar, director (operations) of Ennore Port, said, “We are adding up the storage space for the cars in order to increase efficiency in handling more cars. The additional space would be ready by the middle of 2014-15.” He was speaking to reporters after delivering the keynote address at the Auto Supply Chain Management 2013 organised by the CII Institute of Logistics, The current storage capacity for 10,000 cars and an additional storage area for 2,500 cars near the wharf is almost fully utilised. The company is also in talks with automobile manufacturer Ford India for a long-term agreement for exports of the latter's car units. Ford currently exports around 20,000 cars from Ennore Port and this is expected to grow to 60,000 in two years, he added. Honda Car India has also expressed its interest to start exports from the port. The auto major, which has its manufacturing facilities in North India, has started trial run of bringing a few cars here for exports. However, Kumar refused to reveal more on the negotiations. Ennore Port has already signed a long-term agreement with Nissan Motors to facilitate export of Nissan's vehicles from here. Under the 10-year agreement, Nissan has concessions up to 60,000 units per annum in the wharfage.
Besides, it can use free parking space for first 15 days and gets a priority in handling of vehicle units. The port has set an internal target to become the number one car exporting port by handling 250,000-300,000 units by 2014-15. The port, which exported 145,000 units in 2012-13, is expected to see an exports of 175,000-200,000 units this year. Nissan, Ashok Leyland, Ford and Toyota export their products through the port. The expansion plans are a part of the company's investment estimates of Rs 500 crore in the current Five Year plan. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has also submitted a request to the port to develop another berth for import of coal. This would be awarded in December.