Mumbai: Essar Ports Ltd, part of the $27 billion by revenue Essar Group, announced the commissioning of its 16 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) dry bulk terminal at Paradip, taking the aggregate handling capacity of the company to 104 mtpa.
The project involved the upgradation and mechanization of Essar Ports’s 230 metre-long berth at Paradip with the installation of a fully mechanized ship-loading system that has a capacity of 5,000 tonnes per hour, the company said in a statement to BSE.
The new all-weather terminal with a capability to handle large ships is connected to the stockyard by a 9km-long conveyor system.
“The terminal will help achieve better handling rates, improve efficiencies with faster turnaround time for ships and would benefit the Paradip Port and its customers,” said Rajiv Agarwal, managing director, Essar Ports.
Paradip Port Trust has granted Essar Ports a licence to operate the terminal till 2020, with a provision to extend the licence period by five years.
The terminal will handle iron ore pellets for its anchor customer, Essar Steel Ltd, which has commissioned a pellet plant of 6 mtpa and is in advanced stages of construction of a second unit of 6 mtpa, taking its total pelletization capacity to 12 mtpa.
Essar Ports hasn’t been able to grow its third-party business, though, with Paradip Port being delayed by over a year.
In July, Mint reported that the commissioning of Paradip would grow the proportion of Essar Ports’s revenue from third parties, or customers outside the group, to 25% in two years. Essar Ports, which operates two ports in Gujarat, currently gets 96% of its business from group companies such as Essar Power Ltd and Essar Steel.
Shares of Essar Port were up a little over 1% at Rs.93.50 each at 11.02am on BSE on a day when the exchange’s benchmark Sensex index was marginally up.