One of India’s biggest private sector terminal operators, Essar Ports, is poised to significantly increase iron ore handling capabilities at Vizag Port. The capacity of the company’s bulk terminal in the port’s outer harbour will be able to handle 23 million tonnes of iron ore annually, following the impending conclusion of a two-year investment programme, compared with 12.5 million tonnes now.
The investment will also enable Vizag Port to berth vessels up to 200,000 dwt, with a draft of 18 m, while productivity will also be greatly improved. Essar Ports claims iron ore loading rates will increase from 70,000 tonnes per day to 120,000 tonnes per day, an improvement of more than 70%.
Essar Vizag Terminals Limited (EVTL) took over the iron ore handling development project in May 2015, and has a concession to operate the facility for a period of 30 years. According to Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director and CEO, Essar Ports: “The facility is one of a kind in India with a state-of-the-art mechanised system, and one of the highest loading rates, at 8000 tonnes an hour. As a result of the enhanced performance parameters, exporters on the east coast will benefit immensely from shorter turnaround times, which will translate into competitive freight costs.”
Communities living around the facility will also benefit from the upgrade and modernisation of technology at the port. Essar Ports says it is determined to cut down spillage and emissions to virtually near-zero levels.