The 550-metre berth of Essar Bulk Terminal Limited (EBTL) in Hazira is being expanded by a further 1,100 metres to accommodate the steady growth in cargo throughput at the port. With the expansion, the capacity of the Hazira terminal will increase from the existing 30 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 50 MTPA. Post completion of expansion, the port will have capability of simultaneously handling 7 vessels at any point of time.
Essar Bulk Terminal is investing Rs 750 crore in the expansion project, which along with the existing investment of Rs 2,450 crore, will take the total investment in Hazira port to Rs 3,200 crore.
The Company has already invested in creating an all-weather mechanised deep draft port, which is capable of handling Capesize vessels. The port has a draft of 14 metres, which allows direct berthing of the largest of bulk cargo carriers. The Company has dredged an 8.8-km channel on the Tapi river. Approximately, 80 million cubic metres has been dredged until date, making it one of the largest dredging activities in the country.
In the quarter ending 30 June 2016, traffic at the port increased by 80% to 4.4 million metric tonnes (MT), as against 2.4 MT in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The cargo growth is backed by a ramp-up in operations by Essar Steel’s 10-million tonne plant in Hazira. The total port traffic is expected to reach 24 MT in FY17, as against 12.7 MT in FY16.
EBTL has also received permission from the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) to handle 15 MT of third-party cargo over three years. In FY16, 0.75 MT of third-party traffic was handled. This is expected to grow to 5 MT by FY18.
Commenting on the development, Capt. S Das, CEO-EBTL, said: “The Hazira Terminal has been integral to fulfilling the cargo handling requirement of Essar Steel plant. The expanded terminal will not only help us service the enhanced requirements of our anchor customer, but also cater to our growing volumes of third-party cargo.”