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Krishnapatnam Port plans SEZ

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Krishnapatnam Port, developed by Limited on the eastern coast in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, is drawing up plans for setting up a special economic zone on 12,000 acre in its vicinity.

The company has formed a special purpose vehicle -- Private Limited (KIPL) -- and secured formal approval for the project last week.

“The port has about 2,400 acre of land in its possession and we will acquire the remaining in phases. The Rs 6,000-crore project upon completion will employ about 30,000 people directly and 1,50,000 indirectly,” said , managing director of KIPL.

The company has acquired land directly from private parties and through the state arm Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation by paying an average Rs 5 lakh per acre.

KIPL expects good demand for the multi-product on the back of the port. “A reputed iron and steel company has already finalised plans for setting up its unit on about 600 acre at the SEZ to take advantage of the port,” said Reddy.

Krishnapatnam Port
On the progress of the Rs 9,250-crore all-weather deep water port, Reddy said Krishnapatnam port had achieved financial closure for Phase II recently.

In the second phase, seven more berths, including one berth for container traffic, are being taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 4,000 crore. There will be exclusive coal and general cargo berths and break-bulk cargo facilities. A container freight station is also coming up and is expected to be completed by December 2011.

The port now has six berths and two more will be ready shortly. This apart, it has baggage facilities for fertilisers and other facilities like night navigation capabilities, a dedicated rail line and highway connectivity.

A fully mechanised container terminal, an exclusive container handling berth will form part of the Phase II development while a ro- ro (roll on, roll off) jetty will come up on the western side. At present, Visakhapatnam and Chennai ports have container handling facilities.

In Phase three, it is planning to set up a dedicated container yard. In all, the port will have a capacity to handle 60 million tonne of cargo on 42 berths. There is also a plan for a separate berth/jetty for inflammable products and it will be a connected through a pipeline, said Reddy.

Increasing imports
Edible oil imports, particularly from Indonesia, is seeing an increase. Four companies have started processing units here and the port has established a direct pipeline to these refineries.

Edible oil apart, the port is handling coal imported from Indonesia, Australia, South Africa and other countries. It is erecting a conveyor belt for transport of coal from the port to serve the power plants coming up in the region. “Coal handling will increase when thermal power plants in the district become operational,” said Reddy.

The first steam coal import vessel - - discharged 49,912 mt in August 2008, less than a month after the Krishnapatnma port was dedicated to the nation in July 2008. It handled 8.2 million tonne in the first year of its operations, a record for a new port in the first year of its operations.

Import of raw sugar too is on the rise due to the high sugar rates back home. A sugar processing plant is coming up at the port, which has a 1,25,000 sqm covered storage area for sugar and fertilisers, according to Reddy.

Granite exports started in November 2008 with 6,090 mt. Prakasam and Karimnagar in the state are the chief producers of granite. In September 2009, the port recorded its highest granite loading in a day - 4,067 mt and surpassed the same in January 2010 by loading 5,340 mt. Iron ore through the port is exported to China mainly from Anantapur in the state and Bellary in Karnataka.

The port till January 2010 handled 13.5 million tonne cargo. However, it likely to fall short of its target of 20 million tonne for the current financial year due to the slowdown. “We are hopeful of handling 17 million tonne by March end,”' Reddy said, adding the turnaround period at the port was less than 24 hours.

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