Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002
Chennai port meets cargo handling target
CHENNAI, April 1
THE Chennai port has handled 36.11 million tonnes of cargo during the year 2001-02, marginally surpassing the Government's target of 36 m.t. This was 5.11 m.t. less than the previous year's throughput.
"The decrease was mainly due to shifting of thermal coal to Ennore port from June 2001'', said Mr P. Baskaradoss, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust (ChPT).
Announcing the port's yearly performance at a press conference here on Monday, Mr Baskaradoss said despite shifting of thermal coal, the port's performance was better than expected.
During 2001-2002, the port handled 7.19 m.t. of thermal coal as against 11.67 m.t. the previous year. The entire thermal coal would be moved to Ennore in a couple of months, he said.
During this period, except increased handling of iron ore at 7.44 m.t. (6.82 m.t.), handling of other cargoes dropped POL handling was 8.51 m.t. (8.69 m.t.), thermal coal 7.19 m.t. (11.67 m.t.), coking coal 0.52 m.t. (0.53 m.t.), fertiliser and fertiliser raw materials 0.81 m.t. (0.91 m.t.) and general cargo 5.78 m.t. (6.61 m.t.).
In containers, the port handled 3.44 lakh TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) as against 3.52 lakh TEUs the previous year. This was due to `go slow' agitation and labour problems against the privatisation of the container terminal, Mr Baskaradoss said.
Out of the total container traffic, 2.27 TEUs were handled prior to licence period, and 1.14 lakh TEUs were handled by Chennai Container Terminal Ltd, which is operating the container terminal from December last, he added.
During 2001-2002, Chennai was in the third position in cargo handling, next to Vizag and Kandla. During the previous year it was second only to Vizag.
Mr Baskaradoss said the average pre-berthing detention time, the time taken for a ship to berth since its arrival at the outer anchorage, was 1.3 days for the year 2001-02, compared to 1.5 days the previous year. The average turnaround time (berth stay) had been reduced to 5.6 days from 6 days. "These are indicators of increased efficiency at the port," he said.
With the shifting of thermal coal to Ennore during the current year, the ChPT would privatise the Jawahar Dock (JD) quays (berths) 1 & 3, East Quay and South Quay 3.
Already one JD berth had been privatised and tenders would be called for the other berths either under the berth reservation scheme (BRS) or under lease in a few days. These berths would be clean to handle cargoes such as foodgrains, granite stones, cobble stones, quartz and timber logs, he said.
To meet the increased crude requirement of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, the ChPT had requested the company to continue handling through the port CPCL plans to put up a SBM (single buoy mooring) outside Chennai.
While setting up a SBM was costly, the port trust can do the "double banging'' operations (transfer of cargo between vessels at high seas) for CPCL at a cheaper cost.
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