The Tuticorin Port will develop coal handling facilities for state-run Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and Coastal Energy Company with a combined investment of around Rs 700 crore.
Tuticorin Port Trust chairman GJ Rao said the NLC facility would come up at the North Cargo berth and have a capacity of 5 million tonnes a year. The port has already floated a tender for developing the facility. The proposed investment in the facility would be around Rs 350 crore, which will be made by the corporation.
The imported thermal coal is meant for the upcoming Rs 4,900-crore 1,000 mega watt power plant of NLC in Tuticorin. Both, power plant and coal handling facility, are expected to commence operation by mid -2011, said Rao.
For Coastal Energy, the port would invite request for qualification (RFQ) on June 30. Coastal Energy is planning to set up a 250 Mw coal-based power plant with an investment of around Rs 1,200 crore. The handling facility, also with around Rs 350 crore investment, would become operational by mid-2012 and handle 5 million tonnes of coal a year.
The port, located at the southern tip of the country, handled 5.5 million tonnes of thermal coal and 2.1 million tonnes of industrial coal in 2009-10. To attract industrial coal traffic, it recently announced a 30 per cent reduction in tariff.
Rao said the coal traffic would remain at the same level in 2009-10 but was expected to increase three-fold from 2011-12 on the back of a few power projects, which are likely to commence operations in 2011-12.
Besides, the port has received expression of interest from two companies — Madras Cements and Dubai-based Coal and Oil Company — for the development of its proposed Rs 1200-crore power plant at Hare Island in Tuticorin. It is now in the process of creating a detailed project report for the project.