Prakash Kamat

Modern terminal for coal import planned

Construction of additional three mooring dolphins progressing

Port plans to set up a jetty to relocate port craft and small boats

PANAJI: Despite global recession, Goa-based major port Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) recorded a double-digit growth of 19 per cent in cargo traffic on a year-on-year basis for 2008-09.

Releasing the performance figures, Chairman Praveen Agarwal said that during 2008-09, the port touched an all time record cargo traffic of 41.68 million tonnes, surpassing its previous best of 35.13 million tonnes handled in 2007-08.

Even container traffic at the port and cargo vessels recorded a surge this year, said officials. The port handled 890 cargo vessels as compared to 825 vessels in 2007-08.

Cruise traffic

The global meltdown saw a drop in the arrival of cruise traffic to Mormugao as only 24 cruise vessels carrying 10,878 passengers called at the port compared to 38 cruise liners with 12,997 passengers in 2007-08.

The port’s provisional income for 2008-09 stood at Rs. 290 crore against Rs. 268 crore in 2007-08. The net surplus, after making substantial contributions to the superannuation funds, would be Rs. 18 crore as against Rs. 39.85 crore.

With a host of development projects for infrastructural enhancement in the pipeline, the port management is confident of retaining its impressive growth momentum. Among the new projects is the ongoing construction of additional three mooring dolphins. The facility, expected to be up and ready by October, will cost Rs. 25 crore, including costs for dredging.

As regards its new four-lane road planned from the port to Verna, a leading industrial estate in south Goa, Mr. Agarwal says port connectivity project is being implemented by the National Highway Authority of India through the special purpose vehicle known as Mormugao Port Company Ltd.

Mr. Agarwal said that construction of a jetty for relocation of port crafts and small boats had already been taken up. This facility is expected to be completed by March 2010.

The port is also in the process of building another full-fledged non-cargo berth and simultaneous strengthening of the breakwater mole.

Mormugao Port’s expansion drive would also see it develop a modern terminal for coal import at Berth 7 on DBFOT (design, build, finance, operate and transfer) basis within three years, said Mr. Agarwal. The terminal would have a capacity of 4.61 million tonnes and its cost had been pegged at Rs. 252 crore. Five parties have been short-listed for this project and the concession agreement is expected to come through by July this year.