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Paradip port fixes coal dust problem — 4 cos shortlisted for O&M contract

Our Bureau

The four firms are L&T, Adani Port, McNally Bharat and South India Corporation (Agencies) Ltd in partnership with Elecon Engineering and Orissa Stevedoring Association. The price bids will be considered shortly, it is learnt.

KOLKATA, Aug. 7

EVEN as the operation of the mechanised coal handling plant at Paradip port is getting stabilised, a fresh problem has surfaced from an unexpected corner. The daily throughput of thermal coal is now six BOBR (bottom open bottom release) wagons on an average and at this rate the total throughput is to exceed seven million tonnes annually.

But the huge volume of coal dust being raised at the time of unloading of coal is creating an operational problem, so much so that a few weeks ago the normal working of the plant was hit.

The dust flies around and settles down everywhere, on the floor, in the galleries, chutes and the conveyor system and the thick layers so accumulated over a few days hit the coal handling of the plant. The workers also resent so much of coal dust on health grounds.

The foreign consultants to the plant could not foresee the problem and suggest remedial measure in advance, presumably because they had assumed that the plant would only handle washed coal of perfect sizes. But then the ground reality in India is different. Without referring the problem back to the foreign consultants, the chief mechanical engineer's department of the Paradip Port Trust (PPT) has been trying to resolve the crisis on its own. Fortunately, the effort has not been in vain.

Initially, daily workers were deployed to remove the dust. But the result proved to be unsatisfactory. Now, special pumps have been installed at appropriate places to spray water on the dust and make it slurry for their quick removal. At the entry point of the rail receival system, the overhead sprinklers too have been installed to sprinkle water on wagons (loaded with coal). All these measures have started yielding results.

Meanwhile, the port authorities have shortlisted four firms out of a total of six that responded to PPT's tender inviting bids for O&M contract for the coal handling plant. The four firms are L&T, Adani Port, McNally Bharat and South India Corporation (Agencies) Ltd in partnership with Elecon Engineering and Orissa Stevedoring Association. The price bids will be considered shortly, it is learnt.

In all, 33 firms had picked up the tender papers, but ultimately six of them submitted the papers. Right now L&T is looking after the O&M operation on a temporary basis.

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