Increase in cargo like fertilizers and agriculture commodities mitigates the fall
Gangavaram Port could handle 13.09 million tonne during 2012-13, nearly one million tonne less than the previous year’s 14 million tonne due to steep fall in handling iron ore.
“A significant fall was witnessed in movement of iron cargo, but the impact of this reduction was largely mitigated by focusing on and increasing the handling of cargoes like fertilizers and agriculture commodities,” a spokesman for Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL) told The Hindu.
Reduction was also witnessed owing to subdued volumes in March resulting from floods in Australian coal mines. However, with coal shipments resuming from Australia, the port is hoping to see substantial increase in coal cargo inflow over next two months.
The port which handled 2.14 million tonne iron ore during 2011-12 could just handle 0.27 million tonnes. Coal handling almost remained at same level with 2011-12 registering a total throughput of 2.14 million tonnes and 2012-13 9.89 million tonnes. Following a special drive, fertilizer went up from 0.7 million tonnes to 1.11 million tonnes. Manganese ore, alumina, limestone, agricultural commodities went up from 1.21 million tonne to 1.82 million tonne.
GPL, a special purpose vehicle which owns the India’s fully-automated all-weather deepwater port, is confident of completing its ongoing expansion project by either end of 2013 or first quarter of 2014. The port, in which D.V.S. Raju and his family have 58.11 per cent equity with 31.50 per cent by Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm and 10.39 per cent by Andhra Pradesh government, is planning to increase its present capacity from 16.54 million tonne by 40.95 million tonnes.
The expansion project, which envisages construction of a mechanised coal berth to handle vessels with 2,00,000 DWT, three multi-purpose berths to handle Panamax vessels, state-of-the art mechanised bulk cargo handling facility with additional rail sidings, stack yards etc. will involve an investment of about Rs.1300 crore.
Environmental clearance is awaited from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for setting up an LNG terminal at Gangavaram by Petronet LNG Limited to handle five million tonnes in the first phase with an investment of Rs.4,500 crore.
The capacity will be doubled later. The first phase is expected to be operational by 2016.