It is being billed as the fastest growing non-major port in the Eastern coast. The sudden growth in volume has troubled the neighbouring ports such as Ennore, Chennai and Visakhapatnam.
Sensing the growth potential of Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal (KPCT), the Japanese agencies are contemplating to include the port in the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor (CBIC). KPCT Director and CEO Anil Yendluri spoke to The Hindu on the congestion issue, and the journey so far. Excerpts:
You have just completed one year of container operations. How has been the journey so far?
We started the container operations on April 4, 2013. In the first year, we handled 58,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers. Since September 2012, we have handled 1.01 lakh TEUs. Our success has been in introducing containerisation concept for new commodities that has not been tried so far by others.
Could you elaborate on the containerisation concept?
KPCT is handling several commodities, including cement, rice, maize, sea foods, granites, chilly, tobacco and cotton in bulk quantity. As we have warehousing facility inside the port, we do the packaging ourselves and export them through containers. This saves space and handling becomes easier. Now, all these products are sent through containers.
You have set a target of 1.25 lakh TEUs in container operations for the current year. Is it possible when major ports are struggling?
Even before handling cargoes, we have started creating infrastructure facilities in the port. We have huge tract of land, world class cargo handling equipment, parking yard, warehousing facility and connectivity among others. You can bring in your goods either through rail or road and we will do the rest. KPCT will witness three times growth in volume in the coming years.
Is it true that Japanese investors are planning to include KPCT in the proposed industrial corridor and if so why?
Japanese are interested in creating long time development say for 50 or 100 years. They are very good planners. The Japanese investors had three rounds of talks with us. The availability of 10,000 acres outside the port premises, water, power, deep draught and rail-road connectivity impressed them.
Moreover, the inclusion of KPCT will benefit all the three southern states.
It will be like a triangle and only a loop has to be extended from the corridor. Boundaries are only in maps. In reality they are regions and it will benefit all as it has three international airports and four seaports.
What are the impressions among the foreign firms?
Isuzu Motors is already importing electronic goods. A couple of automobile firms from Bangalore are talking to us. Alstom and firms based in Sri City are also planning to tap us.
Does it mean that you are snatching companies from your competition?
The eastern ports in our country handle eight million tonnes per annum, whereas a Sri Lanka alone has 10 million tonnes capacity.
Over the years, the competition will ease and there will be level playing field.