Visakhapatnam Port is planning to develop a standby stream for iron ore exports. The project, to be executed on a public-private partnership basis, will involve an investment of about Rs 270 crore.
Port sources said six major companies — Mundra port, GVK, Tecpro Systems, IL&FS Maritime, ABG-LDA and Vadinar — have evinced interest in taking up the project. The entire investment will come from the private player.
The existing facility was commissioned in 1976 for handling 8 million tonnes of iron ore per annum. “This system being a single stream, any stoppage brings the entire ship loading operations to a standstill. Considering the age of the existing system, we have proposed to develop a standby stream for the existing shipping conveyors that will be used in case of emergency,” the sources said.
The port has dedicated two berths with mechanical handling facilities for iron ore loading at the outer harbour. Besides, it uses berths in the inner harbour if there are more iron ore vessels. The port handles 17-18 million tonnes of iron ore in a year.
In view of the growing demand, the port will have to enhance its iron ore handling capacity. The proposed standby stream will raise the ore handling capacity by 4.5 million tonnes a year, sources added.
As part of the project, the port will provide mechanical handling facilities at West Quay 1 berth in the inner harbour, they said.