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i-maritime News Service

Iron ore piles up at Paradip port, awaits shipment - 2012-07-02

More than a million tonnes of iron ore, mostly fines, are lying accumulated in Paradip port, awaiting shipment. The exporters are pinning hope on better days but keeping their fingers crossed. They are not sure if and when will the present situation turn for better. It is not simply the slump in global demand which is causing concern; the restrictions imposed by the Odisha Government on mining and transportation of the ore too, it is felt, has contributed to the present situation.

In the first quarter of this fiscal (April-June 2012-13), total iron ore exports through the port were a little more than three lakh tonnes as compared to 2.6 million tonnes in the same period of last year. The major exporters were Rungta Mines, Essel Mining and the Jindals. However, the crisis situation on the iron ore front has thrown up prospects of new kinds of traffic. Iron ore pellets, both imports and coastal shipments, hold out a big promise. So far in the current fiscal, the port has handled 1,24,000 tonnes of pellets including 55,000 tonnes on account of Bhusan Steel alone, 23,000 tonnes of direct reduced iron and 1,48,000 tonnes of hot briquettes, all imports, and none of these items had existed last fiscal.

From its newly commissioned pellets plant at Paradip, Essar has started coastal shipments of pellets. The initial trial consignment of 5,600 tonnes was followed by a bigger shipment, totalling 43,000 tonnes so far. The Steel Authority of India Limited too has started “importing” pellets by way of costal shipments and an estimated 26,000 tonnes have been handled at the port so far.

Source : Hindu Business Line