Essar Bulk Terminal Ltd, Hazira (Hazira Terminal), a subsidiary of Essar Ports Ltd, which is one of the largest port companies in India and is part of Essar, has received an approval from Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) to handle 15 million t of merchant cargo over three years.
Based on this approval, the Hazira Terminal, in keeping with its design and capabilities, will be able to handle a range of cargo for merchant customers, including dry bulk, liquid bulk, containers and so on.
The approval was granted under GMB’s captive port policy where jetties built on captive licences can handle third-party cargo up to a maximum of 50% of the total cargo handled. This approval stands to benefit the local industry who will now have access to a modern port facility. It will also increase the revenue to the government because of better utilisation of port capacity.
Hazira Terminal has a capacity to handle 30 million tpa of cargo according to Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director – Essar Ports Ltd. He stated: “Hazira terminal has a strong industrial hinterland. Various coal traders and other industrial customers have entered into agreements with us to handle their cargo through Hazira Terminal to take advantage of our deep draft and high mechanisation, which result in significant cost advantages to our customers. Our all-weather terminal also presents opportunity for these customers to utilise port services when nearby Magdalla port closes during monsoon season.”
The permission for handling third-party cargo to Hazira terminal was earlier provided on a case-to-case basis. The current permission allows it to handle 15 million t of commercial cargo over three years. Further approvals may be sought once the 5 million t of cargo is handled. GMB will benefit from this arrangement since the wharfage charges it collects for the commercial cargo handled at Hazira Terminal is 1.5 times the wharfage received by GMB at other ports.
Hazira terminal has already started handling merchant coal cargo under this approval and handled 0.75 million t until date.
Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs