Essar Ports, which operates ports and terminals on the east and west coasts of India, has recorded a 25 % growth in cargo traffic during the 2016-2017 financial year, ending March 31 2017.
The total amount of cargo handled across the company’s five ports in Hazira (Gujarat), Paradip (Odisha), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Salaya (Gujarat) and Vadinar (Gujarat) rose to 72.86 million tonnes, compared to 58.27 million tonnes in the previous fiscal year. Significantly, traffic generated by third parties outside of the Essar group jumped by 60%.
The growth in Essar Ports’ dry bulk cargo business was a remarkable 52%, rising to 30.39 million tonnes, compared to 19.97 million tonnes in the 2015-16 financial year. The anchor customer for Essar Ports’ dry bulk terminals in Hazira, Paradip and Visakhapatnam is Essar Steel.
The 30 million tonne Hazira Bulk Terminal manages dry bulk, break bulk and project cargo for Essar Steel’s 10 million tonne Hazira Steel Complex. This terminal is currently being expanded to 50 million tonnes capacity.
The 16 million tonne dry bulk terminal in Paradip handles pellets for Essar Steel, while the 16 million tonne terminal at Visakhapatnam handles both iron ore and pellets for Essar Steel and other major players in the steel industry. Its capacity is being expanded to 32 million tonnes.
Essar Ports’ Vadinar Oil Terminal, which receives crude and dispatches finished products for Essar Oil’s 20 million tonne Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, recorded a growth of 11% in liquid cargo. The throughput of 42.47 million tonnes in 2016-17 compared to 38.30 million tonnes in the previous 12 months.
Commenting on the performance, Rajiv Agarwal, chief executive and managing director, Essar Ports, said: “I am delighted with the robust growth in cargo traffic across our ports and terminals. I am especially happy about the remarkable growth in bulk cargo because that is where the future lies. We expect higher growth in the coming years because of increasing capacity utilisation by our anchor customers and heightened economic activity in the country.”
The company’s newly commissioned dry bulk terminal at Salaya has increased available capacity by a further 20 million tonnes a year. Essar Ports is also increasing capacity of the iron ore berths at Visakhapatnam port, giving them a total throughput capacity of 16 million tonnes annually.