Mumbai: Private sector port operator Essar Ports is planning to invest Rs 750 crore to increase capacity in its bulk terminal at Hazira Port to 50 million metric tonnes from 30 million metric tonnes at present, the company said Monday.
The company is increasing capacity by 1,100 metres from the present 550 metres to meet rising demand. Post-expansion, the port will have capability of simultaneously handling seven vessels at any given time.
Essar Bulk Terminal is putting Rs 750 crore in the expansion project, which along with the existing investment of Rs 2,450 crore, will take the total investment in Hazira Port to Rs 3,200 crore, the company said in a statement here.
The company has already invested in creating an all- weather mechanised deep draft port on the Tapi river, which is capable of handling Capesize vessels and its 14 metres of draft, allowing direct berthing of the largest of bulk cargo carriers.
In the June quarter, traffic rose 80 per cent to 4.4 million tonnes from a year ago. The cargo growth is backed by a ramp-up in operations by Essar Steel's 10-million metric tonne plant in Hazira. The total port traffic is expected to reach 24 mt this fiscal from 12.7 mt last fiscal.
The company has received permission from the Gujarat Maritime Board to handle 15 mt of third-party cargo over three years. In FY16, 0.75 mt of third-party traffic was handled. This is expected to grow to 5 mt by FY18.
Essar Ports has current capacity of 140 mt at the Hazira, Vadinar, Paradip, Salaya and Vizag, which are being expanded to 194 mt over the next few years. These five ports are estimated to handle around 80 mt cargo in the current fiscal year.
Hazira Port is an all-weather, deep-draft port with 30 mt of dry bulk and break bulk cargo handling capacity, while deep-draft Vadinar Port has a 58 mt of liquid cargo handling capacity. Paradip and Vizag dry bulk terminals have 16 mt capacity each, while the newly commissioned dry bulk terminal at Salaya (in Gujarat) can handle 20 mt.