In the next six years, Dhamra port will become the new Mundra of the East Coast, said a senior official of the Ahmedabad-based Adani Port and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), an Adani Group company that completed the acquisition of the Rs 5,500-crore port in Orissa, a couple of days back.
“Our experience in the port sector has been good across India. We just acquired Dhamra port on the East Coast. It is all set to become the Mundra of the East in the next 5-6 years, handling about 100 million tonnes per annum (MTPA),” said B Ravi, chief financial officer (CFO) of APSEZ while speaking at an international seminar organised at the Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management (AIIM) here on Wednesday.
Ravi was referring to the Mundra port in Kutch district that clocked about 100 MPTA of cargo in March this year. “We are the only port to have handled 100 MPTA in March this year. The second in rank is Kandla port which has done about 92 MTPA,” he said, emphasing how APSEZ that was just a single port company in 2010 operating the Mundra port in Gujarat, has now grown in stature and now runs about eight ports across the country.
In May, Gautam Adani-promoted APSEZ executed a definitive agreement with L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Limited and Tata Steel Limited to acquire 100 per cent stake in Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL) which was a 50:50 joint venture between L&T and Tata Steel. The Dhamra port deal was completed on Monday.
Dhamra port currently has a capacity of 24 million metric tonne (MMT) per annum. “We are planning to expand the capacity by an additional six MMT in the next two years,” he added.
The Dhamra port is a deep draft, all weather multi-user port that commenced operations in May 2011 and handled total cargo of 14.3 million tonnes in the financial year 2013-14. The port has two fully mechanised existing berths, 63 kilometers of private rail line connecting the Bhadrak station to the main trunk line and has already achieved environmental clearance for the development of 12 additional berths.
Talking about APSEZ business in Kutch, Ravi said, “Mundra has about 40 kilometers of continuous water front. Only eight kilometers have been developed. We also have 24 fully mechanised berths which include 16 berths for bulk cargo, six container berths and two SPMs. We also have a strong marine fleet consisting of 13 dredgers and 22 tug boats.”
“We are trying to build SEZ (at Mundra) in such a manner that a lot of other companies come into this SEZ. We gain as a port company by handling all the cargo for all these companies,” he added. Ravi also appreciated the way the Gujarat government has handled the Mundra project. “We have had the best experience and we had no delays in the projects,” he said.