N. Anand

CHENNAI: The Rs.870-crore expansion programme of Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) will be completed by September 2010, said its Chairman-cum-Managing Director S. Velumani on Tuesday.

The programme includes setting up of iron ore terminal (Rs.360 crore) in two phases, coal terminal (Rs.400 crore) and multi-purpose berth and cargo terminal (Rs.110 crore).

The first two projects are being executed through public-private-partnership mode and as on date the participants have invested Rs.265 crore and Rs.225 crore respectively.

Over 80 per cent of the work relating to the first phase of iron ore terminal has been completed and it will be commissioned by September. In the first phase, the terminal will have six million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity.

According to Mr. Velumani, about 83 per cent of work regarding coal terminal is over. It will have a capacity of eight MTPA.

Erection of ship unloaders, conveyor system and rail track are at an advanced stage of completion.

Pointing out that EPL is putting up multi-purpose berth and cargo terminal, he said that about 64 per cent of work relating to the berth and 93 per cent of dredging have been completed and work on a parking yard for cars is progressing fast.

“Though, the scheduled date for commissioning the car project is December 2010, we are hopeful of starting operations from September 2010. The multi-purpose berth will handle 0.5 MTPA of clean cargo, special project equipment and 2,00,000 cars. Nissan did a trial shipment of six cars three weeks ago and they have committed to export 50,000 cars in the first year.

Similarly, we also had talks with Toyota officials and after the expansion they will export around 20,000 to 30,000 cars,” he told The Hindu.

Soon after the completion of the ongoing projects, EPL will next take up capital dredging to enable 1.50 lakh cape vessels to enter the port. It would cost Rs.230 crore. After the dredging, the port will have berth depth of 18 m and channel depth of 20 m.