N. Ravi Kumar

It will be of immense benefit to minor ports, says Port official

CHENNAI: Western Australia port of Albany has developed a unique berth restoration technique and ready to share its expertise with the Indian ports.

The technique, involving restoration of the berth without causing significant disruption to the cargo handling activities, will be of immense benefit to the Indian minor ports, according to Brad Williamson, Chief Executive Officer, Albany Port Authority.

Though equally good for the major ports, the key factor that made it ideal for the minor ports is its cost-effectiveness.

Given their financial constraints and relatively low levels of trade, the technique would be best suited for the minor ports, he told The Hindu here recently. Moreover, the technique could be implemented in phases.

In the city to participate in the international conference organised as part of the 125th year celebrations of the port of Chennai, Mr. Williamson said the Lloyds Australian Port of the Year award was given to the Albany port last year for the unique berth restoration technique.

Information about the technique is available on the website of the Western Australia port (www.albanyport.com.au)

Cheaper alternative

He said the system involved hydro demolition of piles and a process of renewal in-situ. In terms of the cost benefit, the technique entailed only around 10 to 20 per cent of the investment required for demolishing the old berth and constructing a new one.

Stating that he had met the Chennai Port Trust Chairman K. Suresh and expressed his port's willingness to share the expertise with Indian ports, Mr. Williamson said the port of Albany did not hold any Intellectual Property Right on the technique.

He said the two also exchanged views of environmental issues arising of the handling of dusty cargos, particularly coal and iron ore.