Despite slipping to the fifth position from the third slot, Visakhapatnam Port has handled highest iron ore among all the 12 major ports in the country during 2013-14.
During the year, the increase in iron ore was 9.80 lakh tonnes. It received 25 million tonnes of iron ore, 53 per cent of the cargo handled by all the major ports. This was possible despite fall in imports by China due to shifting of the commodity from east to west coast by Ispat Industries, Essar and other companies and a committed traffic of 2.50 million tonnes for exports by MMTC.
The port has completed dredging to increase the draft to 18.1 metres and depth to 20.1 metres in outer harbour recently enabling it to handle Cape size vessels. Now the inner harbour dredging is scheduled to be completed in June to raise the draft from 11 to 14 metres so as to handle fully loaded Panamax vessel without lightening.
“With increase in draft and recent commissioning of green coal terminal by Vedanta’s Vizag General Cargo Berth with a capacity of 10.18 million tonnes and plans to complete work on mechanised berths by Adani and others to handle thermal and steam coal and liquid cargo, we are confident of handling an additional cargo of 10 million tonnes during 2013-14,” Visakhapatnam Port Deputy Chairman G. V. L. Satya Kumar told The Hindu. According to statistics compiled by the Indian Ports Association, Kandla has retained its No. 1 status by handling 87.01 million tonnes, followed by Paradip 68 million tonnes , JNPT 62.35 million tonnes and Mumbai 59.19 million tonnes.
Visakhapatnam Port secured the third position during 2012-13 with a total throughput of 59.04 million tonnes.
During 2013-14, all the major ports put together could get a throughput of 550.5 million tonnes as against 545.79 million tonnes.
Ennore could achieve 53 per cent growth rate by increasing its traffic to 27.34 million tonnes compared to 17.89 million tonnes in the previous year. It was stated to be possible due to cargo diversion from Chennai Port and environmental issues with regard to handling of iron ore and coking coal. Goa recorded a negative growth of 35 per cent by handling 11.74 million tonnes as against 17.69 million tonnes due to ban on iron ore mining.
Orissa Stevedores General Manager J. K. Nayak said credible performance was put up by Paradip by achieving a 20 per cent growth and handling of 68 million tonnes as against 56.55 million tonnes in the previous year.
This was possible due to diversion of transhipment cargo from Visakhapatnam following commissioning of crude oil pipeline to Haldia and increase in iron ore cargo by 3.60 million tonnes.