PPT chalks out ambitious capacity expansion plan

Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding a 1.72 per cent decline in cargo throughput in 2010-11, the Paradip Port Trust (PPT) has chalked out an ambitious plan to raise capacity over three times to 237 million tonnes by the year 2020.

"The port will increase its capacity from 76 million tonnes to 237 million tonnes by the year ending 2020 to become the number one port in the country, elevating its position from fifth place," PPT Chairman G J Rao told reporters.

The main additions in capacity include 22 million tonnes for oil by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), 75 million tonnes for iron ore and coal at the western dock and 20 million tonnes for an LNG terminal, he said.

Similarly, there are plans to establish one oil jetty and multipurpose berth with 15 million tonnes capacity, Rao said, adding the port also intends to undertake massive dredging works to facilitate handling of 1,25,000 DWT size vessels by dredging channels, basins, entrance channel and a turning circle, the PPT Chairman said.

Though traffic dropped marginally to 56 million tonnes in 2010-11 from 57.01 million tonnes in 2009-10, the capacity enhancement would be undertaken keeping in view future requirements, Rao said.

The drop in cargo-handling was primarily due to reduced throughput of 2.31 million tonnes of iron ore and 1.54 million tonnes of thermal coal exports, while all other cargos showed an increasing trend, he said, stressing that infrastructure enhancement is a "buzzword for any port."

Listing the achievements of the port, Rao said a record quantity of 3.29 lakh tonnes of cargo was handled in a single day on December 2, 2010, surpassing the previous record of 3.24 lakh tonnes on March 11, 2009.

A record quantity of 1,117,628 metric tonnes of crude oil was imported during the month of December, 2010, surpassing the previous record of 1,102,538 metric tonnes during October, 2009, he said.

Similarly, an all-time record of 3,295,646 metric tonnes of total cargo was imported during the month of March, 2011, as against the previous record of 3,055,751 metric tonnes in July, 2010, Rao said.

On new cargo addition, the port chairman said for the first time, 7,878 metric tonnes of Motor Spirit was exported from the port in December, 2010.