'Ban on iron ore export hits port'

'Ban on iron ore export hits port'

P Tamilvanan

The State government’s ban on the export of iron ore has had an effect on the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) with the port handling 31.55 million tonnes during the financial year as against 35.52 million tonnes during the previous year. 

Addressing a press meet here on Tuesday, NMPT Chairman P Tamilvanan said inspite of the decline in the handling of iron ore fines to the tune of 4.26 million tonnes, the port could make up the shortfall to some extent by the increased handling of the coal, containers, LPG, iron ore pellets for KIOCL, granite, timber etc.

The total revenue of the NMPT crossed Rs 300 crore and the port could earn a net surplus of above Rs 100 crore for the 6th consecutive year.

Container traffic

He said the container traffic has substantially increased by 27.66 per cent by handling a record number of 40,158 TEUs as against 31,456 TEUs handled during the previous year.

As many as 8 mainline vessels with raw cashews called at the Port directly from East Africa during the year 2010-11. With the mainline vessels, within seven days the vessels can reach the port. The port has handled record coffee traffic of 6,103 TEUs as against 3,335 TEUs during 2009-10. The garment consignment was also exported through the port from Hassan.

It has also handled record wax candles export of 1,168 TEUs as against 861 during 2009-10.

The LPG traffic of the NMPT has surpassed the earlier record of 1.63 million tonnes by handling 1.91 million tonnes.

“By next year, we will cross two million tonnes,” Tamilvanan added.

ERP system

Tamilvanan said all the work processes in NMPT will be integrated on an ERP (Enterprise Resource Platform) system. The software is being implemented by the TCS on trial basis in the port.

The software encompasses the port’s traffic, operations, finance, real estate and human resources functions. Data on port operations such as vessels entering, berthing, and leaving the port, loading and unloading of cargo and sailing on, will be on an entirely electronic process.  The software will show usage of land by cargo in the port. It will include the type of cargo, to whom it was allotted, when and at what rate and lease period and land available for cargo among other details. It will also show roads, drains, side drains, location of lights, powerlines, water lines, railwaylines, he added.

Development projects

The Chairman said the work on the construction of POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) berths has already commenced at the cost of Rs 79 crore. Coal handling facility for UPCL at the cost of Rs 230 crore on BOT is nearing completion and will be operational by June 2011. The port has taken up the work of improving the port roads in a phased manner.

About 12 kms of roads have been concretised at the cost of Rs 58 crore. Even the beach road will be developed at the earliest, he informed.  The work on the mechanisation of iron ore handling was entrusted to SICAL Logistics at a cost of Rs 296 crore and is expected to complete within two years. The mechanised coal handling system at berth Number 15 is expected to commission shortly.

Future projects

The NMPT is planning to construct a container terminal at the port from internal resources.

A bulk container will also come up in the port. “The port based SEZ is on cards of the NMPT. Once we finalise the share holding agreement with the MSEZ, port based SEZ will come up. It will be located at the port premises itslef. The port based SEZ is not a manufacturing unit but processing unit,” he added.  He said the MRPL will construct a single point mooring (SPM) facility off New Mangalore Port Trust.  Deputy Chairman T S N Murthy said that about 10,000 saplings have been planted in the port area during 2010-11. About 36 per cent of the port is covered with green.