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Jindal ITF, IWAI proposes investments in Haldia

The Times of India:  March, 2015

Kolkata: Jindal ITF plans to invest nearly Rs 500 crore to take its transloading operations further in Haldia. The company, which is already moving imported coal in barges to NTPC's power plants in Farakka and Kahalgaon from the Sandheads, plans to transload cargo at the deep-drafted location at Kanika Sands and bring it to Haldia. It has quoted a rate of Rs 366 per tonne of cargo to the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) of Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) in a tender process that ended recently. HDC is sending the proposal to KoPT's Board of Trustees for approval.

"Apart from Rs 366 per tonne, the company proposes to charge about Rs 235 (as per Tariff Authority for Major Ports rate) and port charges from the shippers. This will come to nearly Rs 800 per tonne. The going rate is between Rs 900 and Rs 1,000 per tonne. The company's rate should be attractive to shippers. The total investment by the company will be to the tune of Rs 500 crore," a senior HDC official said.

The port hopes to handle an additional cargo of 5 million tonnes in 2015-16 if all goes well with transloading of cargo at Kanika Sands. There is more in store for Haldia. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) also plans to set up India's first Inland Water Transport (IWT) hub at Haldia at a cost of nearly Rs 750 crore. Haldia is the start of National Waterway 1 that moves upstream up to Allahabad. The Government of India has stressed on making better use of the waterway for movement of goods and tourism.

"Haldia is the gateway through which cargo can move upstream. IWAI is in talks with the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank, for finances. KoPT has offered 25 acres for the project that will mean a lot for the state and Haldia in particular," the official added.

HDC, which handled nearly 28 million tonnes in 2013-14, hopes to clear the 30 million tonne bar in 2014-15. In 2015-16, it plans to move 34-35 million tonnes. For this, it is floating tenders for barge and fly ash jetties and an outer terminal for dry bulk cargo. These will add to the total investment figure. These jetties will reduce congestion as ships won't need to enter the impounded docks.

"The fly-ash jetties should be in place by December and the outer terminal by 2016-17. We can then think of handling 36-37 million tonnes of cargo. There will also be investment for a Floating Storage Offshore (FSO) unit for which a feasibility report has also been proposed. This will effectively mean a storage tank for petroleum in the sea into which large crude carriers can pump in their cargo. Smaller daughter vessels can then carry them to Haldia. There is demand for nearly 5 million tonnes of petroleum oil and other liquids (POL) here. Of this, 3 million tonnes move through HDC. Once the FSO is in place, we will be able to handle the remaining 2 million tonnes as well," the official said.