Essar Ports to develop Vizag’s 3 iron ore berths
3 iron ore berths to be modernized by Essar ports at Visakhapatnam port will add 23 MMTPA throughput capacity
Essar Ports Ltd (EPL) has won the bid for developing three iron ore berths at Visakhapatnam Port on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis for 30 year period. The cost of the modernization is estimated at US $ 154 million. The bid was secured through EPL’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Vadinar Oil Terminal Ltd., which emerged the highest bidder having quoted 31.01% revenue share for mechanization and operation of the three iron ore berths (two outer wholly harbor berths and one inner harbor berth). The project which will have a combined capacity of 23 MMTPA at the Visakhapatnam Port will be developed on BOT basis for a concession period of 30 years.
EPL, which is the second largest private port companies in India, with a current capacity of 104 MMTPA has plans to kick start operation of the two outer harbor berths within next 3 to 4 months as the up-gradation and operation at the terminal will go on simultaneously. Vishakhapatnam port handled 12.3 million tonnes of iron ore during FY 13 despite the slump in iron ore exports in India. Bulk of this volume will be captured by these three berths after the mechanization, as outer harbor berths will be capable of berthing super capesize vessels of 200,000 DWT and inner harbor berth will be capable of berthing panamax vessels of 80,000 DWT.
Having won the bid for setting up and operating the three berths, Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director of Essar Ports Ltd. commented, “This project will significantly boost the third party cargo handling and revenue of EPL as it will handle 17 MMTPA of 3 party cargo and 6 MMTPA of Essar Steel cargoes. This will add to our continuous efforts towards developing modernized world class terminals and serve new customers. This project will significantly increase the efficiency of Visakhapatnam Port thereby increasing its competitiveness and facilitating industrial growth in the region”.
EPL believes in the potential of iron ore export and coastal movement through the east coast of India. On commissioning of this project, EPL’s total capacity for iron ore export at the east coast will have increased to 39 MMTPA with 4 highly mechanized iron ore berths (three in Visakhapatnam Port and one in Paradip Port).
Essar Ports has three operational terminals at Hazira, Vadinar and Paradip. Hazira terminal is an all-weather, deep-draft terminal with 30 MMTPA of dry bulk and break bulk cargo handling capacity. Vadinar terminal is also an all-weather, deep-draft terminal with 58 MMTPA of liquid cargo handling capacity. Paradip terminal was commissioned in December 2012 and is an all-weather, deep-draft terminal with 16 MMTPA of dry bulk cargo handling capacity. The company is expanding its ports’ capacity to 181 MMTPA over the next few years.
It is currently developing one terminal at Paradip, which will be a coal berth of 14 MMTPA capacity. The Company is also setting up a dry bulk terminal at Salaya with a capacity of 20 MMTPA. Additionally, the Company plans to expand its Hazira terminal capacity by 20 MMTPA taking its capacity to 50 MMTPA. With this new project at Visakhapatnam EPL’s capacity under construction will be enhanced by 23 MMTPA taking the total under construction capacity to 77 MMTPA.