Capt. P Ravindranath, Head - Port Facility Management & Infrastructure, APM Terminals Pipavav (Gujarat Pipavav Port)
What is your current capacity? What are your expansion plans and how do you propose to raise the funds?
APM Terminals Pipavav currently has a capacity to handle up to 850,000 TEUs of containers, 4-5 million MT of dry bulk cargo, 2 million MT of liquid cargo and about 250,000 cars per year. We are currently in the midst of an expansion primarily to increase the container handling capacity from 850,000 TEUs to 1.35 mn TEUs a year.
We are also expanding the infrastructure facilities at the port, which is likely to be completed by Q2 CY16. This is being funded by internal accruals. Pipavav port also has large land and sea front available for development which could even support the development of industrial corridors planned by GIDC in Dhoera, Mandal, Sannan and Rajula.
How far is the public private partnership model viable in the ports sector?
Public private partnership has increasingly emerged as a preferred and viable mode for building the much-needed infrastructure in the country. APM Terminals Pipavav (Gujarat Pipavav Port) is the first public private partnership in the ports sector. The growth of the private ports speaks for itself and the model has been quite successful.
Will ´Make in India´ drive the sector´s growth?
Prime Minister Modi´s initiative to launch ´Make in India´ is aimed at attracting foreign investors and boosting the manufacturing sector, which has a huge growth potential and is directly linked to the country´s economic revival. The growth of ports hinges on the EXIM potential of the country. The ´Make in India´ initiative promotes India as an investment destination for global manufacturing. The success of ´Make in India´ will have a huge impact on the growth of the ports sector as there will be a lot of increase in the trade activities of the country. APM Terminals Pipavav is the gateway port for industrial corridors which have been developed on the concept of ´Make in India´.
Is the SPV for efficient rail evacuation systems to the major ports likely to resolve the issue of connectivity?
Yes, formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) is likely to provide efficient rail evacuation systems to major ports and thereby enhance their handling capacity and efficiency. It will improve the last mile connectivity to major ports and help in modernising port infrastructure. The SPV focussing on port connectivity will fit into the ambitious Sagarmala project of the government, which aims at promoting port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to evacuate goods from ports quickly and efficiently.
Is government action lacking in terms of policy implementation?
There are positive signs of progress in India´s ports sector and the potential for growth and development is enormous. India needs to have a national policy to develop ports. In case of policy implementation for the port sector, the government is not lacking on the policy front, instead it has come up with various policies to boost the sector and attract investments.