10 years of commercial operations of Ennore Port lauded

Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council C. Rangarajan on Saturday called for a holistic approach towards capacity expansion of the port sector.

Emphasising the development of hinterland, Dr. Rangarajan said that without appropriate road and rail connectivity, the development of ports itself would become stunted. “Therefore, we need to take a holistic view in terms of what needs to be done in order to promote capacity expansion of the ports,” he said, addressing a function organised to mark the completion of 10 years of commercial operations of Ennore Port.

Referring to the estimate of major ports achieving 70 per cent of the targets set for them during the 11th Plan period, he stressed the need for the port sector to grow in line with faster growth of economy.

Quoting the Union Shipping Ministry's Maritime Agenda 2020, he said the capacity of ports in the country was expected to touch 3.2 billion tonnes by 2019-2020 against the present capacity of 1 billion tonnes per year.

Good example

The port sector offered a good example of public-private participation, he added. On the overall economic growth rate during the 11th Plan period, he said the economy had performed well and the average annual rate of economic growth during the period would be 8.2 per cent. The 12th Plan document envisaged a growth rate of 9 per cent.

Receiving the first copy of a publication on the history of the Ennore Port, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said the port had attracted Rs.2,537 crore of private sector investment.

It had embarked on an ambitious LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal project to be developed by the Indian Oil Corporation at an investment of Rs.4,300 crore. This would enable the port to acquire additional capacity of five million tonnes per annum.

Tracing the history of the port, he said that at the time of its inception, it was only handling coal.

In 10 years, it had geared itself to handle all types of cargo.

State-of-the-art terminal

The Minister also referred to the project of developing a state-of-the-art container terminal on BOT basis with a capacity of 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) per annum.

K. Mohandas, Shipping Secretary, said that with the Chennai-Bangalore region becoming a favourite industrial corridor, there were enormous opportunities for Chennai and Ennore Ports to grow further.

Atulya Misra, Chairman of the Chennai Port Trust, and S. Velumani, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the Ennore Port, spoke.