Mundra becomes first Indian port to cross 100 mt cargo mark2 min read . Updated: 31 Mar 2014, 11:54 PM IST
Mundra port surpassed Kandla port, which will end this fiscal year with 87 mt of cargo
Bangalore: Gautam Adani-run Mundra port in Gujarat has handled 100 million tonnes (mt) of cargo in the year to 31 March, joining an elite club of global ports that have reached this mark.
Mundra also became India’s biggest port by cargo handled.
The port is owned by the Gujarat government, but given to Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) for development and operation on a 30-year contract.
“We reached the 100 mt mark on 28 March," an official at Mundra port said on condition of anonymity. “Till today (31 March), we have handled 100.8 mt."
A spokesman for APSEZ declined to comment.
Mundra port surpassed Union government-owned Kandla port, located just 60km away on the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, in terms of the amount of cargo handled.
In the year ended 31 March 2013, Kandla port loaded 93.6 mt of cargo while Mundra was second, handling 82 mt of cargo.
Kandla will end this fiscal year with a volume of 87 mt of cargo, a spokesman for the port said. “We fell short because of lower crude oil and liquid cargo loadings," he said.
Experts attribute the success to Mundra’s strategic location.
About 70% of India’s trade in commodities such as crude oil, coal, fertilizers, foodgrains and container cargo is accounted for by cargo originating and destined for centres in north and north-western India including the National Capital Region, apart from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh.
The location is also a gateway to Europe, the US, Africa and West Asia.
Mundra port received its first ship MT Alpha-2, a small tanker on 7 October 1998. Since then, it has gone on to set new benchmarks in the Indian port sector. The port today handles the largest ships of all types that can call at any port in the world. On 4 June 2013, MV MSC Valeria, a 366m-long vessel with a capacity to load 14,036 20ft equivalent units (TEUs) berthed at Mundra. It was the largest container vessel to call at any port in India. Other ports can berth ships with a capacity to load only 9,000 TEUs, a company statement said at the time. A TEU is the standard size of a container and a common measure of capacity in the container business.
Mundra also handles capesize vessels—the biggest of the dry-bulk cargo carriers—of 18m draft, loaded oil supertankers requiring 21m draft, container vessels requiring 15.1m draft and roll on-roll off vessels of 230m length.