The Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) plans to offer priority berthing facilities for export-oriented vessels in Jawahar Dock to prospective port users for 11 months to facilitate growth of break bulk cargo and dry bulk cargo.

Called the Berth Reservation Scheme (BRS), it provides priority berthing to a vessel on arrival on payment of berth reservation charges.

There are six berths in Jawahar Dock, of which three are under active use by the port and one has been privatised. The remaining two are used sparingly.

One of the berths being used by the port is to be given under the BRS. The berth, identified for lease, measures 218.33 meters in length with a draft of 12 meters. It can handle all types of cargo except coal, coke, limestone and iron ore. The prospective bidder will also have access to a transit shed spread over 4,107 square meters.

Since April, ChPT handled 6,855 tonnes of dry bulk cargo through 129 vessels and 2,185 tonnes of break bulk cargo through 377 vessels.

Talking to The Hindu, a ChPT official said “by leasing out the berth, we are in a position to get assured income, apart from allowing the bidder to plan out his schedule and long term plans in advance. The bidder is also assured of a berth on a regular basis.”

Sources said, the bidder can use the berth as and when he wants by giving advance notice. However, the port has the power to let it out to others whenever the berth is idle.