Sterlite to commission 675-cr coal berth at Vizag by 2012

Sterlite to commission 675-cr coal berth at Vizag by 2012

New Delhi: Vedanta group firm Sterlite Industries plans to commission the coal handling facility at Visakhapatnam port by July 2012, a project that entails an investment of about 675 crore.

“It is on schedule, we plan to commission it by mid-2012, likely by July, 2012," a source said.

The Vedanta group arm had won the project to set up the mechanised facility for handling coking and steam coal on general cargo berth from Vizag port last year in partnership with Leighton Contractors India, the Indian subsidiary of the Australian diversified group Leighton Contractors.

The coal berth would have a cargo handling facility of 10.18 million tonnes per annum with an estimated cost of $150 million (about 675 crore), the source added.

The project is being developed on a revenue share basis and Sterlite had quoted a revenue share of 38.1 per cent in its bid for the 30-year contract.

The Tariff Authority for Major Ports, the tariff regulator for Centre-owned 13 ports, had fixed a coal-handling rate of 131.94 per tonne at the new berth and going by it, Sterlite would be sharing 50.26 per tonne of the revenue earned from handling the cargo at the port.

Last year, the metal to mining conglomerate had announced 900-crore joint venture with Leighton Contractors India for developing port infrastructure. Sterlite holds 74% stake while the rest 24% lies with Leighton.

Besides the coal berth at Vizag Port, the JV company is also building a multi-purpose berth for handling clean cargo, including container, on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis at the Paradip port.

In a bid to enhance its capacity to 62.27 million tonnes (MT) to 83.39 MT in the next few years, the Visakhapatnam port has lined up 27 projects entailing 3,373.22 crore, two-third of which will be from private players.

The major port is gearing up to have world-class facilities in a bid to thwart competition from neighbouring Gangavaram, Kakinada and other ports.

The Anil Agarwal promoted firm is also planning to commission first unit of its 1,200 MW power plant at its BALCO plant by September, the source said, adding that other three units of 300 MW each capacity will be commissioned in next three quarters.

The group flagship firm had posted a net profit of 5,042.52 crore, registering a growth of 34.69%, while its net sales were up by 23.45% at 30,248.06 crore for the fiscal year ended 31 March, 2011.