Essar Ports on a major expansion plan
Essar Ports Ltd., India's second-largest private sector port and terminal company and part of the US $27 billion Essar Group is set on a major capacity expansion spree. The company which presently provides port and terminal services for liquid, dry bulk, break bulk and general cargo, with an existing aggregate capacity of 104 MMTPA aims to shore up its capacity to 158 MMTPA over the next few years. It recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat Maritime Board for expanding the capacity at Hazira port and the yet to be commissioned Salaya port, both in Gujarat state, on the West coast of India. The exact capacity enhancement of these two ports is under negotiation.
Last month Essar commissioned its 16 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA) dry bulk terminal at Paradip on the East coast of India which took the aggregate handling capacity of Essar Ports to 104 MMTPA. Two facilities located at Vadinar and Hazira on the west coast of India have capacities of 58 MMTPA and 30 MMTPA respectively. The Salaya project due for commissioning has a 20-million tonne integrated terminal facility for handling coal and pet coke used in power plants. Another project a 14-million tonne deep draft coal berth, as part of an agreement with the Paradip Port Trust is being executed on a build-operate-transfer project, with rights to operate the berth for 30 years.
Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director, Essar Ports Ltd, said, “The MOU with the Gujarat Maritime Board is for the expansion of two ports, Salaya and Hazira. At Hazira the length of the waterfront will be extended to 3 km with reclamation of the land. We will add five berths at the Salaya port thus enhancing the waterfront to around 1.5 km. The total investment for this expansion will involve $ 1.8 billion over a period of 10 years. We are waiting to get the approval of the Gujarat government and obtain all the clearances to go ahead with these expansions.”
The newly commissioned Dry Bulk Terminal at Paradip, has a fully mechanized ship loading system with a capacity of 5,000 tons per hour. It is one of the most modern terminals of its type in India, connected to the stockyard by a 9 km long covered conveyor system having a capacity of 5,000 tons per hour. The fully mechanized stock yard has 2 Reclaimers with a capacity of 2500 tons per hour each. The company is currently developing another terminal at Paradip which will be a coal berth of 14 MMTPA.
Essar also announced the company performance for the past quarter. For the quarter ended December 2012, Essar Ports achieved its highest ever cargo through-put in a quarter at 14.34 MMT, up from 9.94 MMT in Q3FY12, an increase of 44%. For Q1-Q3 FY13, cargo handled increased by 29% to 39.71 MMT as against 30.87 MMT in Q1-Q3 FY12. The Net Profit for Q3FY13 increased by 101% to $ 16.44 million from $ 8.18 million in Q3FY12. For Q1-Q3FY13, the Net Profit increased by 91% to $ 43.6 million from $ 22.8 million in Q1-Q3FY12.