Krishnapatnam container terminal becomes operational

The Krishnapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh which handled 21.12 mililon tonnes of cargo in 2012-13, expects over 40 per cent growth in the current fiscal, with the container terminal becoming fully operational from Tuesday, according to the CEO, Anil Yendluri.

He was talking to reporters here on Tuesday before the formal inauguration of the container terminal by the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

He said the port registered a 40 per cent growth in cargo over the last financial year, with coal imports alone accounting for 16 million tonnes. He said the container terminal would be able to handle 1.2 million TEUs in the first phase and after completion the terminal would be able to handle 6 million TEUs. He said Rs 1,500 crore has been spent on the container terminal which has five advanced gantry cranes.

“We have 13.5 meters draft at the container terminal and the channel depth is 18.5 meters. We will increase the draft at container terminal to 17.5 meters; we have Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company calling at our terminal right from inception and also a number of feeder companies,” he said. The container terminal will handle cargo from South Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and parts of Maharashtra.

He said the country’s trade with South Asian nations, especially China, has been increasing and therefore the importance of eastern ports is also growing. Therefore, he said, it would be cost-effective for exporters/importers to make use of the container terminal here.

“We have ten berths now, including two in the container terminal, and one more will be added after the completion of the second phase. The port will have 42 berths after the completion of the entire project in a decade or so, with a capacity of 200 million tonnes including 6 million TEUs,” he said.

He said the port exported iron ore heavily for the first two years after which coal imports picked up.

In response to a question, he said the port is not expecting a spillover traffic from Chennai as there is congestion at that port.

He said Krishnapatnam container terminal has its own inherent strengths and has not been built because of the problems at Chennai.

The port has tied up with Concor and will provide container freight station facilities at the port itself.

“We will offer customised container services to our customers and it will be the best choice for them on the east coast,” he said.

He said he was expecting a 40-50 per cent growth this financial year and the port may touch the 30-million tonne mark with coal accounting for 20 million tonnes. In response to a question, Anil said two jetties would be built — one for LNG and the other for POL.

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