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NMPT primed for mechanised iron ore handling facility

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New method awaited: Sling method being used for loading iron ore on to a ship at the NMPT.
New method awaited: Sling method being used for loading iron ore on to a ship at the NMPT.

Govind D. Belgaumkar

It is expected to help increase quantity of ore exported from the port

Chennai-based Sical Logistics Ltd. likely to invest in the project

Company will get two years to execute

the project

Mangalore: In a major infrastructure expansion programme, the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has moved close to striking a deal with a firm to set up a mechanised iron ore handling facility at a cost of Rs. 300 crore.

Chennai-based Sical Logistics Ltd., a leading provider of integrated solutions for offshore logistics and multi-modal logistics for bulk cargo, will be the investor for Rs. 300 crore.

The company will build it on Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) basis and offer 37 per cent of the gross revenue to NMPT. Sources told The Hindu that this is the highest revenue share offered for any of the NMPT projects in the recent past by any private firm in any project undertaken by it. The project involves payment of Rs. 11 crore annually as licence fee and one-time success fee of Rs. 40 lakh to NMPT. The company will get two years to execute the project after signing of the deal, which could happen in three months from now.

Though 11 companies had shown interest in the project, only four took part in the price bid recently and offered to share revenue at the rates ranging from 24 per cent to 37 per cent. The other bidders were: ABG Infralogistics Ltd., Mumbai; Sharath Chatterjee and Co., Kolkata; and Adani Infrastructure Services Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad.

Efficiency

The mechanised ore facility to handle 6.62 million tonnes a year is expected to considerably increase the quantity of ore exported from the port, which at present stands fourth among the major ports as far as its performance in iron ore handling is concerned. Last year, the port handled 8.3 million tonnes of iron ore. At present, the port receives about three to four rakes — each with 58 wagons — on an average every day. The time taken to unload each rake will be reduced to three hours from the present eight hours, sources told The Hindu.

The present sling method of loading the ships will be replaced by the modern mechanised handling through ship loader, they said.

One of the conditions that the tender stated was that the successful bidder will have to provide the port with two stackers each with 3,600 tonnes per hour (TPH) capacity, as many reclaimers each with 4,000 TPH capacity, and a ship loader with 1 lakh tonne capacity.

It will also provide one wagon tippler to mechanically unload the wagons at the marshalling yard and transport the ore to the stacking yard through conveyor and provide dust suppression system, the sources said.

The project is also billed to bring more iron ore by rail as the entire process of unloading from railway marshalling yard to loading into the ship at berth no. 14 of the port will be fully mechanised under the public-private deal. The NMPT’s berth no. 14, commissioned in 2006, has depth of 15.1 m and length of 356 m and is equipped with two grab cranes with 104 tonne capacity.

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