Indian Ports comprising 13 Major and 187 Non Major ports form the backbone of the EXIM trade in India and handle 95 per cent by volume and 70 per cent by value of the trade. Cargo traffic of 1052 MMT moved through these ports in FY 2014-15 and is likely to increase dramatically in coming years with Government of India taking up major policy initiatives like Sagar Mala to encourage port led development.
To meet the challenge of handling this projected exponential growth in traffic; Indian ports will need to improve their operational efficiencies in addition to increasing their capacity as when compared to international benchmarks, there is a huge scope of improvement in various operational parameters of Indian Ports.
The Government of India through devolution of more powers to Major Ports, increased expenditures to increase drafts (Vizag port can handle capesize vessels), mechanisation of various berths, establishment of Indian Port Rail Corporation to take investments in rail connectivity, etc., is aggressively working towards making Major Ports more efficient.
Meanwhile, the private and non-major ports are already ahead of their peers on this aspect.
IL&FS Group has had its share of association with the maritime sector specifically in the promotion and development of Greenfield projects. The GroupÂ´s maritime division IL&FS Maritime infrastructure Company Ltd (IMICL) has successfully taken forward the GroupÂ´s vision in the sector and is successfully operating Dry Bulk Logistics in Southern India and a Tank Terminal for Oil Logistics in UAE. IMICL also would soon commission its Multi-Purpose berth at Dighi Port and is in the process of development of few more projects in India.
The key to the success of these projects is proper conceptualisation, followed by detailed planning and thereafter implementation of the project, keeping in mind sustainable operations, flexibility and customer service. These aspects are inbuilt into the IMICLÂ´s project development and implementation processes and monitored closely.
Marking its presence
The Multi-Purpose Berth 4 at Dighi Port is strategically located just 42 NM south of Mumbai and will cater to hinterland covering Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. With a capacity of 5.5 MTPA, the terminal has adequate capability for handling coal, bauxite, and other dry bulk commodities. It shall operate on 24×7 basis and with a planned draft of 14.0 meters, will be capable of handling Panamax gearless vessels. The backup facilities include a storage yard capacity of 6,00,000 MTs, two mobile harbour cranes of 100 MTs capacity with 30 CBM grabs, hoppers, dust suppression and fire fighting systems, dedicated handling equipment and warehouse. The terminal with its green, efficient and sustainable operations and Terminal Management System will provide single window service to its customers. Together with the rail connectivity, currently under implementation, the Dighi Port would be a game changer for bulk handling in the Western maritime sector.
The Tank Terminal, located in oil logistics hub of Fujairah, UAE, is one of the most automated and state of the art facility. Implemented from concept to commissioning in an optimum period, with close supervision, it has a capacity of 334,000 cbm (Phase 1) comprising fourteen storage tanks of capacities ranging between 5,000 to 40,000 cbm and currently handles HFO, FO, GO, Diesel, Jet Fuel and similar products. It offers various services such as customized blending, circulation and heating, truck loading bays, piggable pipelines, inter-tank and inter-terminal transfer facilities, with a dedicated connectivity to the Port of Fujairah that can cater to capesize vessels. High standards of safety and operations together with pro-active customer service has already made this terminal one of the best in the region, within 3 months of its commissioning.
IMICL through its experience gained from developing the above projects, is planning to develop an Integrated Maritime Project in Gujarat, Captive port project in Tamil Nadu and similar other projects which would be best in class state of the art facilities meeting global benchmarks in operational efficiencies.