Essar commences container handling at Hazira port
Essar Ports, part of the Essar Group, diversify into container handling operations
Essar Ports Limited, one of India’s largest port and terminal operators commenced container operations recently setting the stage for a significant foray into this rapidly growing competitive segment. Having a mega presence in owning, developing and operating ports and terminals in India, it has cashed in on the captive containerized cargo for making an initial beginning in container handling now underway at its port in Hazira.
The company’s ports at Vadinar, Hazira and Salaya are strategically located on the western coast of India in the state of Gujarat to service the growing demand from the land-locked northern, north-western and central regions of India and are well connected to the state highways and the railway network. Its terminals at Paradip port are located on the eastern coast of the state of Orissa servicing mineral and metal-rich eastern India and are well positioned to service cargo for the steel and power industries.
“At Hazira, which is an all-weather, deep draft dry bulk port, we have started handling containers for our own requirements,” said K. K. Sinha, CEO & Director, Essar Ports. “Here we have achieved a capacity of 30-MMTPA handling iron ore, coal, limestone, break-bulk and project cargo. We can enhance our container handling capacity by pruning the bulk cargo to suit our requirements. At the moment we have captive containerized cargo. We have sought the approval from the Gujarat Maritime Board for diversifying our operations to deal with third party containerized cargo and enhance the capacity, which initially will be 250,000 TEU and subsequently enhanced as we go along.”
Mr Sinha pointed out that Essar Ports provides port and terminal services for liquid, dry bulk, break bulk and general cargo, with an existing aggregate capacity of 88 MMTPA across two facilities located at Vadinar and Hazira in the state of Gujarat on the west coast of India. The company is in the process of increasing its aggregate ports capacity to 158 MMTPA with expansion projects underway at Vadinar and Hazira, and commissioning a new port at Salaya in Gujarat and two terminals at Paradip in the state of Orissa on the east coast of India.
“We are awaiting approval from the Ministry of Forest and Environment for setting up the 14-million tonnes deep draft Paradip Coal Terminal,” Mr Sinha asserted. “It is a part of an agreement with the Paradip Port Trust to execute a build-operate-transfer project, with rights to operate the berth for 30 years. It involves an investment of $ 136.4 million. At Paradip, we are also undertaking the mechanization of the CQ 3 berth as part of a 10-year license agreement with the Paradip Port Trust, to handle multipurpose cargo including export of iron ore and pellets. We are looking at taking on third party cargo at our terminal at Paradip. Both the terminals will be operated by us. At the new port in Salaya, we are developing a coal terminal which will have a conveyor system for the power plant to be run by us. The 1200 MW power plant being set up will be completed by 2013.
Essar Ports, which is India’s second-largest private sector port and terminal company, possess coal mines in Indonesia and iron ore mines in Mozambique. The company is presently in search of more coal and iron ore mines for stepping up its exports as well as meet the requirements of its steel and power plants.