Essar Ports Ltd, part of the $39 billion Essar, announced recently that Essar Vizag Terminals Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, has entered into a concession agreement with Visakhapatnam Port Trust for development and operations of three iron ore berths at Visakhapatnam Port on BOT basis over a period of 30 years. These three berths (two outer harbor berths and one inner harbor berth) will have a combined capacity of 23 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA).
The concession agreement was signed at a ceremony in Chennai in the presence of Mr GK Vasan, Minister of Shipping as the chief guest, Dr Vishwapati Trivedi, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping and Mr RPS Kahlon, Chairman, Visakhapatnam Port Trust.
The project will be developed at a cost of Rs 1200 crore over a period of three years. Essar Ports will take over the two outer harbor berths soon and the operation and up-gradation of the terminal will happen simultaneously. Vishakhapatnam Port handled 12.3 million tons of iron ore during FY13 and this traffic is readily available for these berths from commencement.
Commenting on this Mr Rajiv Agarwal – Managing Director, Essar Ports said: “We will develop the terminal to create one of the most competitive, modernized, world class facilities. This project will significantly increase our third party cargo handling capacity and also boost our presence in the east coast. Iron ore export traffic at Vizag will increase substantially due to the competitiveness of this terminal which will facilitate industrial growth in the region.”
This project will increase Essar Ports’ total capacity for iron ore export on the east coast to 39MMTPA with four highly mechanized iron ore berths (three in Visakhapatnam Port and one in Paradip Port).
Essar Ports, December 18, 2013; Image: Wikimedia