Work is going on in full swing and it is likely to take 24 months
Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL), which owns an all-weather deep water satellite port under Public Private Partnership programme, has commenced construction work in full gear to achieve a cargo handling capacity of 40.95 million tonnes.
A spokesperson for GPL told The Hindu that the construction work for expansion was going on in full swing and it was likely to take 24 months to complete the expansion project.
At present, Gangavaram Port has a capacity to handle 16.54 million tonnes per annum.
After its formal inauguration in 2009, it has finalised the first phase of expansion. At present, it has five deep draft fully mechanised berths.
The expansion project includes one coal and three multipurpose berths and additional stacking area. The management at the time of public hearing held last year had stated that it would have most modern mechanised cargo handling system, additional storage and evacuation facilities to meet future requirements.
In lieu of 1,800 acres of land, the government will have equity of 11 per cent. Visakhapatnam Port, owned by the Visakhapatnam Port Trust, is on massive mechanisation and modernisation mode and is getting ready to handle 110 million tonnes by 2014-15.
Visakhapatnam Port is one of the premier ports among 13 major ports.
It handled 67.41 million tonnes during 2011-12 as against previous year's 68.04 million tonnes, the second highest after Kandla. The cargo handling fell down marginally over the previous year due to dislocation caused by ongoing expansion work and fall in iron ore exports.
Gangavaram Port, which has the advantage of being a Greenfield port, handled a throughput of 14 million tonnes during 2011-12 compared with previous year's 13.93 million tonnes.
It handled 9.5 million tonnes of coal, 2.14 million tonnes of iron ore and 1.91 million tonnes of other cargo during 2011-12. In the previous year, it handled 9.52 million tonnes of coal, 2.58 million tonnes of iron ore and 1.83 million tonnes of other cargo.
Asked why the cargo remained almost the same, the spokesperson pointed out: “The basic reason for the overall cargo numbers remaining the same is the unprecedented decline in iron ore exports, a concern faced by all ports across the country.