Gangavaram Port will have an additional fully mechanised coal terminal to handle capsize vessels up to 200,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) as part of its ongoing expansion.

The expansion project under which four berths are now at various stages of construction along with support infrastructure, will be ready in March 2014. Once completed, the capacity of the port built under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode will go up from the present 17-18 million tonne to 45 million tonne per annum.

“The work on the expansion project with a total outlay of Rs.1,200 crore is in progress as per schedule to make Gangavaram one of the best all-weather deep water ports in the world,” Gangavaram Port Limited Director (Operations) G. Brahmaiah told The Hindu on Saturday.

Gangavaram Port, which launched commercial operations in August 2008, at present has five berths with vast storage and advanced material handling and evacuation system. Mr. Brahamaiah said they had been handling super capsize ships carrying coal and iron ore up to a DWT of 200,000.

Under the expansion, the port will have additional fully mechanised coal terminal to handle capsize vessels and other berths for bulk material handling. One of the berths will have the provision to handle container cargo based on future demand.

“Expansion work is being carried out in the existing harbour area and 1,800 acres of land,” Mr. Brahmaiah said. Apart from mechanised bulk material handling, additional rail sidings, ancillary civil works and mechanised stock yards are being developed.

As of now, the port has handled a throughput of 61 million tonnes of coking coal, steam coal, iron ore, bauxite, urea and other cargo by handling over 1,200 vessels out of which 130 plus were capsize vessels.