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Ennore Port: On a revival mode

Ennore Port: On a revival mode

After Tuticorin Port, now it is the turn of Ennore Port to receive a new name and identity. Renamed as Kamarajar Port, the facility is gearing for a major expansion drive with a slew of projects in the pipeline.

India’s first privately operated port, Ennore Port, has been renamed as Kamarajar Port after the veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The port has plans to raise Rs 500 crore via tax-free bonds for its ambitious expansion plans which can boost the port’s capacity to 65 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from the current 35 mtpa by the end of 2017.

The port is all set to expand with five projects in the pipeline which include: coal berth for TANGEDCO, LNG terminal, container terminal, multi-purpose cargo terminal and road-rail link.

MA Bhaskarachar, Chairman and Managing Director, Ennore Port Ltd, told Infrastructure Today that for the development of the LNG terminal, the port authority has already received approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). The proposed terminal, which will be taken up by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), would be used to import LNG, storage and regasification, with an initial capacity of 5 mtpa with expansion capabilities of up to 10 mtpa.

The proposed coal berth for TANGEDCO will have a capacity of 9 mtpa. The project has already been awarded to ITD Cementation India for a total cost of Rs 190 crore. The company is in the process of obtaining environmental clearance and approval from the concerned ministries. The construction of the third coal berth will commence this year and will be completed in 2015-16. Other than these two projects, the port is also developing a container terminal with a capacity of 1.4 million TEUs through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. The project has been awarded to Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd.

Meanwhile, for the development of the multipurpose cargo terminal, the authority has received six bids, of which one player has submitted a financial bid. "As of now, I will not be in a position to divulge more details on this. The cost of the project is Rs 151 crore and the capacity will be 2 mtpa. Even this project will be built on PPP mode," said Bhaskarachar.

Capital dredging: The port has undertaken various capital dredging activities. "Phase I has been completed and we are currently in the midst of completing Phase II. In fact, we have also proposed Phase III of development. Once the dredging work is completed, the draft at the channel will be increased to 20 m. This will allow new generation vessels to access our port. The total cost of the project (Phases II and III) is Rs 300 crore.

Rail-road connectivity: For rail connectivity, the port has proposed to take up the 30 km chord line greenfield project connecting Avadi/Thiruvallur to Attipattu station in Tamil Nadu. The proposed railway link would bypass the critical section from Avadi to Chennai, which is highly congested with traffic. "We are also planning to provide rail connectivity to the proposed container terminal from the Indian Railways mainline for rail movement of container traffic from the port. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 36 crore and completion is to be synchronised with completion of the container terminal project. We have submitted the detailed project report (DPR) to Southern Railways for approval," revealed Bhaskarachar.

"On the road connectivity front, we have proposed an access road on the northern part of the port, which will be an important link between the port and TPP Road near Vallur and then on NH5 (Chennai-Kolkata corridor)," he added. This will provide 21.15 km direct connectivity to the Chennai metropolitan area and the deep hinterland. The Government of Tamil Nadu is currently in the process of acquiring land for the project.

The port is also working towards converting the existing 6 mt iron ore berth into a coal handling berth, and the clearance is expected by May. The clearance was required because there are some issues with the concessionaires.

"The conversion is mainly because there is not much hope for iron ore (shipments, given the various legal clamps on its mining and sale), so we are looking at converting the berth to cater to thermal coal, where demand is expected to increase in the coming months," Bhaskarachar explained. The conversion from iron ore to coal alone will call for an investment of Rs 150 crore but it is still to be decided if Ennore Port will bear the cost or if it would be done by the operator. Performance: For 2013-14, the port has handled 24 mtpa cargo as against 17.89 mtpa during 2012-13.

It has reported a profit of Rs 147 crore on revenue of Rs 228 crore for the six months ended September.

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