HDC's key priorities are installation of one container handling crane (RMQC), mechanisation of Berth No 3 in PPP mode, and creation of liquid cargo handling facilities at Shalukali through PPP, and a goal to handle 65 MMTPA of cargo by 2021-22.
At present, the port industry is recovering from a lull and moving towards a growth period. Awareness is now being created for a coastal movement aimed at creating a safer as well as more environment-friendly mode of transport. More shipping companies are showing keen interest for this movement. "However, in the initial phases, more encouragement through rebates has to be extended," believes G Senthilvel, Dy Chairman, Haldia Dock Complex (HDC).
In an interaction with INFRASTRUCTURE TODAY, Senthilvel, recommends tapping the untapped potential of national waterways. While the growth in the industrial sector, particularly in oil refinery and steel, tends to bring in higher volumes of import commodities like crude, coking coal etc., Senthilvel advocates that the focus should be on coastal shipping and in wooing main line container vessels to use the deep draft Indian ports instead of the neighbouring ports of Colombo and Singapore. With the initiative of the current government in developing IWT terminals from Haldia to Varanasi, the IWT traffic by barges may also play a key role in generating traffic for the port.
HDC has handled 40.5 MMTPA of cargo during 2017-18, thereby registering a growth of 18.61 per cent over the cargo handled during the previous year, which is also the highest among all the major ports of India. Even during 2018-19, HDC handled 45.2 MMTPA of cargo, thereby registering a growth of 11.63 per cent over the cargo handled in the previous year, which is the second highest growth rate among the major ports. In 2019-20, more than 50 MMTPA of cargo is expected to be handled by HDC and in 2021-22, the port will be in a position to handle 65 MMTPA of cargo after the envisaged infrastructure projects are created.
New Port Development Plans
HDC has planned the construction of liquid cargo handling jetty (Outer Terminal II) at a cost of Rs 1.50 billion, for which bids have been invited. This will add 2 MTPA to HDC capacity. That apart, mechanisation of Berth No 3 at a cost of Rs 3.10 billion on BOT basis will increase the port's capacity by 3.5 MTPA. "We have sent SFC proposal to the ministry. Once it is approved, we will invite the RFP and contract will be awarded by August 2019," says Senthilvel.
To handle more number of dry bulk vessels inside the dock basin, HDC has planned a container terminal with a capacity of 8 MTPA outside the dock basin at an approximate cost of Rs 4.50 billion. What is more, to handle chemicals, POL products, etc., which would increase the capacity by 2.5 MTPA, HDC has planned a liquid cargo jetty at Shalukali at a cost of Rs 1.75 billion. "The execution of the project will commence after receipt of environment clearance and is expected to be commissioned by December 2022," he said.
Besides, Senthilvel divulges to IT that a comprehensive multi-modal terminal for handling cargo to and from barges is also under construction on 61 acre of KoPT land at Haldia. The terminal would comprise four barge jetties with adequate backup storage areas and railway facilities. The terminal will come up by the end of 2019. Various commodities like fly ash, fertiliser, coal etc. are likely to move by barges from Haldia to various destinations up to Varanasi through NW 1, to north eastern states and Bangladesh by NW 2 and protocol route.
Port Connectivity Enhancement
As far as port connectivity is concerned, HDC is working on various fronts. To give seamless movement of road traffic to the port, HDC is constructing ROB at Ranichak Railway crossing at a cost of Rs 1.50 billion which will be completed by August 2019. That apart, to increase the rail handling capacity, doubling of railway line from Durgachak to the port is under way at a cost of Rs 1.17 billion. This work is expected to be completed by December 2019.
In case of road connectivity, NH 41 connects Haldia and Kolaghat, and NH 6 links Kolkata and Kharagpur. "Since there is heavy congestion, there is a need to either expand NH 41 or develop an alternative road connectivity between Haldia and Kolaghat. NHAI is being asked to examine this," says Senthilvel.
HDC has allotted more than 2,400 acres of land to various port-based industries like IOCL, Hooghly Metcoke, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Steel, WBIIDC, BPCL, HPCL, and IWAI. A recent study undertaken by IL&FS Township & Urban Assets has identified about 50 plots of KoPT land covering 1,383 acre for all-round development in the port city of Haldia, including setting up of additional industries. About 694 acre have been earmarked for setting up of industries, including port-related business, which would be allotted in phases.
HDC proposes to allot land about 100 acres for developing a tea park. Proposal will be finalised in consultation with the tea board. This will increase tea exports from Haldia. About 12 plots measuring 400 acre will be allotted for warehousing, food processing units, etc.
One of the major initiatives taken by HDC is to explore the possibility of removing the constraints of existing lock entrance by breaching a part of the existing dock, thereby providing easy and seamless access to the vessels entering and exiting the existing dock. IIT Madras is undertaking the study, which is to be vetted by Port of Antwerp. In the event of successful implementation of this project, HDC may go for the second dock arm along with the existing arm from the construction of additional berths. The report of IIT Madras and the views of Antwerp Port expected within next two months. Besides, the prospects of setting up a riverine container terminal outside the existing single lock is also being explored. HDC has also taken various initiatives for increasing LPG traffic at Haldia by allotting about 45 acres of land to BPCL and 10 acres of land to Hindustan Aegis LPG for setting up storage facilities with connectivity from the oil jetties. It has also granted permission to Indian Oil Petronas to install another unloading arm at the second oil jetty.
Incidentally, L&T Infrastructure & Engineering has been engaged as the consultant for preparing the master plan for Haldia Dock Complex and Kolkata Dock System. For capacity addition, port has specifically taken the following actions:
During 2018-19, HDC has handled 45.2 MMTPA of cargo surpassing the previous highest handling of 43.59 MMTPA achieved during 2007û08. Last year, the traffic was 40.496 MMTPA, thereby registering a growth of 11.65 per cent.
During 2018û19, HDC has handled 177,933 TEUs, which is the highest ever handling of container at HDC, surpassing the previous highest of 156,028 TEUs handled during 2017-18, thereby achieving a growth of 14.04 per cent.
For the first time, Baby Cape Vessels were handled at Sagar when MV Kishore discharged 56,000 MT of coal at the place. Subsequently, another Baby Cape Vessel, MV Diamond Power called at Sagar Anchorage and discharged 51,900 MT of coal there.
For the first time in history, cape size vessels were handled when MV Samjohn Solidarity called at Sandheads and discharged 100,000 MT of coal before proceeding to the neighbouring port for final discharge. Subsequently, four more cape vessels called, out of which three vessels each carrying between 162,000 MT and 169,000 MT of coal called for full discharge (at Sandheads and Point 'X') while the other vessel proceeded to the neighbouring port for final discharge.
- RAHUL KAMAT