Ore transport ban hits cargo handling at NMPT

Port registers decline in volume by eight lakh tonnes

However, the decline in volume could be made up with the Union government giving its nod for the proposal to start mechanised iron ore handling. The ore will be supplied to the Port via rail and loaded directly into the ship from the stockyard. So far the ore was being loaded into crane manually, said NMPT chairman Tamilvanan. He also hoped of reaching the target by handling coal and lime stone.

Speaking to presspersons here on Monday, Tamilvanan said that the capacity to mechanised iron ore handling is 6.62 million tonnes per annum. The work on installing the system has been entrusted to Sical Logistics Ltd through tender and is expected to be completed within 24 months.

He said MRPL is expanding its capacity by 2011 and in order to cater to the increasing needs NMPT will set up a new berth. “We have made our presentation at the expert finance committee meeting recently. Bids will be invited after the proposal is approved. The berth will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 79 crore.

Container traffic

Tamilvanan said that there has been steady increase in container traffic by 10 per cent. The rail traffic has gone up to 51 lakh tonnes over the last year’s 49 lakh tonnes. The port has handled five container vessels with raw cashew from East and West Africa this year. Another vessel is expected to reach on January 31. He however disclosed that there has been tremendous decrease in the cruise traffic owing to economic slowdown. The Port handled only four cruise last year.

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