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Kakinada port eyes 50% growth in coal handling

Vds Rama Raju  |  Chennai/ Visakhapatnam 

At present, the port’s coal unloading capacity is about 12,000 tonne a day. Post the commissioning of the new facility, the capacity will increase to 30,000 tonne a day

The Kakinada deep water port is expecting about 50 per cent growth in coal handling in 2013-14 on the back of the new mechanised coal handling facility, which will be ready by May.

The port and Bothra and Company have signed an agreement to set up the facility on berth number 5 on a BOT (build, operate and transfer) basis. As per the terms of the agreement, Bothra and Company is investing about Rs.160 crore in the project.

“Once this machanised facility is in place, we expect more vessels to arrive at this port for coal imports,” Kakinada port officials told Business Standard.

At present, the port’s coal unloading capacity is about 12,000 tonne a day. Post the commissioning of the new facility, the capacity will increase to 30,000 tonne a day, they said, adding that besides the uptick in the coal handling capacity, the turnaround time of ships will be reduced by 50-60 per cent, thereby cutting down ship hiring charges.

During the last financial year, the Kakinada port has handled 2.5 million tonne of coal. While it has handled three million tonne up to November this year, the port expects this to touch four million tonne by the end of March 2013.

“Once the new project is ready by May, our coal handling will increase to six million tonne in the next financial year. While we are currently taking six days to unload coal from a Panmax vessel, which carries 70 tonne of coal, the unloading time will come down to less than three days once the new facility goes on stream,” the officials said.

First Published: Tue, December 25 2012. 00:22 IST
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