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Gangavaram port expansion set to take off; funds tied up - 2012-06-04

Work on Gangavaram port expansion is all set to take off, with the port operator completing award of major contracts and achieving financial closure for the project. The expansion, which will see the port's capacity increasing from the current 15 million tonnes to 45 mt, envisages an addition of three multi-purpose berths and a coal handling terminal.

“We expect to wrap up the expansion project by 2013 or the first quarter of 2014,” Mr Pranav Choudhary, Chief Financial Officer of Gangavaram Port Ltd (GPL), told Business Line.

Spanish major Duro Felguera bagged the €62 million order for supply of key equipment for the new coal berth. The company will supply two new grab ship un-loaders of 62 tonnes, install a 11-km conveyor belt system and set up a new coal yard. The Spanish company is also executing a coal and fertiliser berth project in the neighbouring Krishnapatnam port.

The contract for design and construction of the four new berths has been bagged by ITD Cementation India, part of Italian Thai Development Public Co Ltd (ITD) of Thailand. While the three multi-purpose berths would each be 275 metres long, the coal berth will be handling up to 2,00,000 DWT ships.

The dredging contract, involving a removal of about four million cubic meters of silt, including rocks and sand trap, was bagged by the State-owned Dredging Corporation of India and the Chennai-based Sical Logistics. These three packages account for a bulk of the total Rs 1,200-crore expansion project.

“We have achieved the financial closure, with the debt component being about Rs 900 crore. It will be funded by a consortium of Indian banks,” Mr Choudhary said.

After the expansion, the port will be looking for more non-coal cargoes such as fertilisers, bauxite and food grains. Today coal accounts for 70 per cent of its total traffic of about 14 mt.

Source : Hindu Business Line