Going deeper, growing bigger

Published : Jun 20, 2003 00:00 IST

The two-berth container terminal can handle about 12 million tonnes of container cargo a year. - SHASHI ASHIWAL

The two-berth container terminal can handle about 12 million tonnes of container cargo a year. - SHASHI ASHIWAL

Existing facilities at the port cover a broad range of requirements. And there is considerable scope available for expansion.

THE Jawaharlal Nehru Port has two dedicated terminals - the container terminal and the bulk terminal. The container terminal, with a quay length of 680 metres and three berths, is designed and equipped to handle large-size container vessels. The bulk terminal, with a quay length of 712 m, is meant for the import of dry bulk cargo from vessels of size up to 70,000 DWT (dead weight tonnes). At this terminal, two berths with a total quay length of 500 m are mechanised. One berth that was initially built as a "service berth" has been subsequently utilised to handle car-carriers and liquid bulk and to a smaller extent to handle the import and export of dry bulk, using the ship's gear. It has been re-designated as a multipurpose berth. Both sides of the bulk berth are being used to handle liquid cargo.

The port has a vast back-up area especially in the northwestern side that is suited for future requirements. The waterfront infrastructure is spread over 54 sq km, with huge potential to develop additional facilities. The port owns 2,584 hectares of land. Most of this is low-lying, but can be developed to provide operational back-up facilities. The port is well integrated with the national network of roads and railways.

The two-berth container terminal developed through private participation involving Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal Ltd. on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis, can handle about 12 million tonnes of container cargo a year.

In order to handle shallow draught vessels, a dedicated shallow water berth has been built behind the multipurpose berth. The draught available in front of this berth is 9.5 m below chart datum (bcd). The berth can handle container as well as general cargo. It has the capacity to handle 1.2 MTPA (million tonnes per annum). The construction of the berth has been completed and it will be commissioned soon.

The port has planned to reclaim an area of about 20 ha behind the bulk berth complex. This area will be used for open storage of project cargo, containers and vehicles meant for export. Reclamation work is being undertaken in phases. The first phase was completed in February 1997 at a cost of Rs.3.5 crores for 70,000 sq m. The second phase, which cost about Rs.18 crores, was completed in April 2001.

The capacity of the port increased from 6 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes a year following the construction of the additional container berths, the liquid cargo berth, the shallow draught berth and the multipurpose berth for liquid cargo besides the installation of new container-handling equipment. In 2001-02, the port handled 18.48 million tonnes of containerised cargo, 2.85 million tonnes of liquid bulk and 1.17 million tonnes of dry bulk and miscellaneous commodities.

The port plans to develop an integrated chemical terminal to handle liquefied natural gas (LNG) and all grades of liquids and chemicals, including refrigerated and pressurised liquefied gases. The terminal will comprise one LNG berth and six offshore berths with about 100 ha to be reclaimed for tank farms and other facilities. Receipt and dispatch facilities, dredging for navigational area, and environmental and safety measures are planned as part of the project.

In the first phase, the construction of one LNG berth and three liquid cargo berths is planned, besides the reclamation of 50 ha of land. In the second phase, the construction of three liquid cargo berths and the reclamation of an area of 50 ha are planned.

Liquid cargo will be evacuated from the storage area through pipelines and by road and rail. The port has received environmental clearance for this project, except for the LNG component. The estimated cost of Phase I is Rs.2,500 crores. The port is planning to invite global bids for this phase on BOT basis. The work is to begin in 2003-04 and it is to be completed in 42 months.

The bulk terminal will be designed to handle a dry bulk traffic of 3.5 MTPA. In past years the terminal has not been able to achieve its designed capacity, whereas the container traffic has had an annual average growth rate of more than 25 per cent. In 2001-02, the port handled in excess of 1.54 million TEUs (twenty foot equitable units) of container traffic and it is likely that by 2005-06 the traffic will go up to 2.7 million TEUs. As the volume of bulk traffic is dwindling, and in order to cater to the ever-increasing volume of container traffic, the port is planning to re-develop its bulk terminal as a container terminal.

In January 2002, the port invited "expressions of interest" for the redevelopment of the bulk terminal. Sixteen parties responded. The development of facilities, to be done in phases, is estimated to cost about Rs.900 crores. With this, capacity of around 1.2 million TEU will be added. It is likely that the project may be taken up on BOT basis. The port is awaiting the requisite clearances. The project is likely to be taken up in 2003-04, in order to be completed in two years.

The declared draught of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port is now 12.5 m. The port has engaged Haskoning India for the preparation of a detailed project report for the work of deepening the entry channel to the port in order that larger vessels may be handled.

Approvals have been received from the statutory authorities for handling a class "A" product (naphtha) after upgrading fire-fighting facilities at the multipurpose berth. In December 2001, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued permission to the port to handle 24 types of class "A" chemicals at the multipurpose berth. During 2001-02, the port handled around 2.85 million tonnes of liquid cargo.

In its land use plan, the port has provided an area of about 300 ha for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The modalities of creating an SEZ along with the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) are being worked out.

The port handles 10 to 12 trains a day operating each way. The number is projected to go up to 18 a day by the end of 2002. In order to handle the higher number of trains, Central Railway is working to commission three line-crossing stations - Dapoli, Panvel and Jasaito. Since traffic at the port is growing, the Ministry of Railways has been requested to double the existing railway track from Panvel to the port.

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