Mumbai: Essar Ports, a group concern of the diversified Essar Group, has said it will be commissioning its 16-million tonne iron ore berth at the Paradip Port within a few weeks.
"The civil and engineering work is over. We are just waiting for an official go-ahead to formally commission the 20 million tonne per annum facility, which can happen within a few weeks," Essar Ports finance director Shailesh Sawa said here.
Sawa said the Rs 520-crore iron ore berth project, with an installed capacity of 16 mt per annum, has a 75:25 debt equity component.
The scheduled date for commissioning the iron ore berth was last month, he added.
The company, which already operates two ports with a combined capacity of 88 mt at the Vadinar and Hazira in Gujarat, bagged the 30-year concession BOT order in 2009 from the Paradip Port Trust.
The company also has a contract to develop a 14-mt coal berth terminal at the Paradip Port, for which it had got the forests clearance in June this year.
The iron ore berth contract involves Essar Ports building a mechanised berth of 370 meter length, which will be one of the most advanced port facilities of its type in the country.
This coal terminal award is a part of the Paradip Port's plans towards mechanisation of imports of this fuel. Last year, the port handled around 12 mt of imported coal. As per the concession agreement, this volume, along with any incremental volume, will shift to the mechanised berth that will be built by Essar Ports.
Essar Ports currently operates 88 mt of port capacity between the Vadinar and Hazira ports. The company is expanding its total capacity to 158 mt per annum by 2014. The Paradip coal berth will add 14-18 mt of third-party cargo volume to the private port.
This apart, the company is also putting up a dry-bulk terminal at Salaya in Gujarat with a capacity of 20 mt, Sawa said adding 56 percent of the work at this dry bulk terminal. The project is expected to be completed by next September.
The company is also expanding its Hazira capacity by 20 mt, taking capacity to 50 mt, he added.
In May, the Port of Antwerp International had picked up around 4 percent in Essar Ports for Rs 175 crore by subscribing to its global depository receipts, which also gave the second largest European port's chief financial officer Jan Adam a board position on the Ruias-run firm as a non-executive director.
Essar Ports current capacity of 88 mt will be expanded to 158 mt over the next few years, Sawa said.
Last month, the company had reported a 97 percent jump in its consolidated net profit at Rs 80.53 crore in the quarter to September, driven by a 31 percent rise in volume and a 25 percent jump in income to Rs 343.98 crore.
"In the second quarter, Essar Ports saw an increase of 31 percent in the total volumes handled to 12.70 mt from 9.73 mt a year ago, managing director Rajiv Agarwal said.
First Published: Sunday, November 4, 2012, 18:05