The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has signed an agreement with Sical Iron Ore Terminal (Mangalore) Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chennai-based Sical Logistics to set up mechanised iron ore handling facility.

The Rs. 277-crore facility will come up at deep draft multipurpose berth (No. 14) on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. It is expected to speed up ore handling and reduce dependence on manual labour.

Funding

The agreement was signed by P. Tamilvanan, Chairman, NMPT, on behalf of the Board of Trustees of NMPT, and L. R. Sridhar, Managing Director on behalf of Sical on Sunday. An NMPT release said the entire project cost would be funded by the Chennai-based company which has offered 37 per cent of the gross revenue share to the port and Rs. 11 crore as licence fee every year.

The facility is expected to be ready by December 2012.

The port started handling iron ore fines since 2003-04 and the volume had steadily increased over the years. During the last fiscal, eight million tonnes were handled manually, the release said quoting Mr. Tamilvanan.

Cost reduction

Mr. Tamilvanan said the facility would reduce the cost of cargo handling and reduce pollution caused due to the movement of lorries transporting iron ore and it was expected there would be a reduction in volume by road transport.

The pollution caused by the manual handling of iron ore in the port as well as the adjoining areas will also come down with the implementation of the project.

The operator will provide services with increased productivity and efficiency as per set standard performance.