Kamarajar Port Ltd (KPL), formerly known as Ennore Port, has set its sights high and is bracing to become one of the top five ports in the country by 2020. The upgrade plan entails increasing the port’s capacity to 86 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from the present 32 MTPA, at a total investment of Rs 7,300 crore.
In the works are the expansion of its coal cargo handling capacity, setting up of more multi-cargo terminals, including two extra terminals for automobiles, besides upgrade of other infrastructure facilities.
Located 24 km to the north of Chennai Port, KPL is India’s only corporatised major port, with the Centre holding 68% stake in it and the remaining held by the Chennai Port Trust. Initially serving as a mono-commodity coal port for the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), KPL has over the years developed into a multi-cargo port, having created infrastructure for handling liquid bulk, automobiles and general cargo.
As part of the expansion plan, contracts have been awarded for creating additional terminal facilities which include two more berths (9MTPA each) for the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) at an investment of Rs 500 crore, modification of the existing iron ore terminal to allow handling of coal, and an LNG terminal.
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“Once the ongoing projects are completed, handling of containers, heavy project cargo and LNG would commence at the port, which is poised to achieve total capacity of 86 MPTA ,” says MA Bhaskarachar, chairman-cum-managing director, KPL.
KPL is betting big on the automobile sector. For the fiscal ended March 31, 2017, it handled 227,581 cars — its stock yard can handle 3 lakh cars per annum at present. “We are setting up a second RoRo cum general cargo berth to handle 3 lakh more units per annum,” Bhaskarachar says. A third facility would take the port’s total car handling capacity to 10 lakh units per annum by 2022.
The LNG terminal at the port is being set up by the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) at an estimated investment of Rs 5,151 crore and would create 5 MTPA capacity, with a provision to expand it to 10 MTPA. Construction work is expected to be complete by 2018 end.
The container terminal is being set up by the Adani group at an investment of Rs 1,270 crore while the multi-cargo terminal is being developed by the Chettinad group at an investment of Rs 151 crore. These are expected to be operational by the end of this month.
KPL has also undertaken a capital dredging phase-IV project which will ensure for it a
18-m draft, sufficient to receive cape size vessels for bulk terminals as well as mother vessels—the project would be completed in the next couple of months.