JOUR­NEY TO 100MMT CLUB

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RINKESH ROY

IRTS, CHAIR­MAN, PARADIP PORT TRUST

Paradip Port in the last 3-4 years worked on a broad strat­egy and also suc­cess­fully ex­e­cuted plans to achieve the cargo vol­ume. The port has not made any changes to its tar­iff since FY2012-13, and the tar­iff will re­main un­changed till 2019.

Q Paradip Port is the 3rd port in In­dia and first on the east coast to handle 100 mil­lion tones of cargo in a fi­nan­cial year! What are the fac­tors that con­tributed to the vol­ume?

A Paradip is one of the largest dry bulk han­dling ports in the coun­try. Deal­ing with dry bulk comes with some in­her­ent chal­lenges like pol­lu­tion, in­volve­ment of mul­ti­ple han­dling agen­cies, and many other is­sues. So it re­quires lot of co-or­di­na­tion to seam­lessly man­age the cargo. One of the fun­da­men­tal rea­sons for cargo growth at Paradip is that the port has been able to pro­vide qual­ity ser­vices to cus­tomers at the cheap­est price. The value that the port pro­vides to the cus­tomers is the most im­por­tant fac­tor for the suc­cess. The port in the last 3-4 years worked on a broad strat­egy and also suc­cess­fully ex­e­cuted plans to achieve the cargo vol­ume. The port has not made any changes to its tar­iff since FY2012-13, and the tar­iff will re­main un­changed till 2019, and in re­cent years Paradip is the only port in the coun­try to keep tar­iff steady. Un­like ear­lier days when there were anti-com­pet­i­tive prac­tices at the port, but now a fair de­gree of com­pe­ti­tion was in­tro­duced into the sys­tem, and it helped in a way that the cargo han­dling cost for cus­tomers has came down by 30-40 per­cent in FY2017-18 as com­pared to the year 2012. Due to healthy com­pe­ti­tion, cargo han­dling ef­fi­ciency at the port has also im­proved. Stay­ing com­pet­i­tive is need of the hour, and Paradip’s com­pe­ti­tion is not lim­ited to Dhamra or Gopalpur ports, even big­ger ports like Gan­gavaram which can handle cape­size bulker and of­fer very eco­nom­i­cal rate are ca­pa­ble of di­vert­ing cargo meant for Paradip. Hence, a great deal of co-or­di­na­tion with all stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing rail­ways has helped Paradip to achieve the growth in cargo vol­ume. With cost of ser­vice com­ing down due to im­proved ef­fi­ciency, the port is now fo­cus­ing on adding in­fra­struc­ture into place to re­main com­pet­i­tive. Cargo vol­ume is grow­ing at a rate of 16-17 per­cent Y-O-Y for Paradip, and the port aims to over­take Kandla to be­come the high­est cargo han­dling port in the coun­try in FY2018-19.

Q Which are the other cargo seg­ments that you are look­ing at other than bulk?

A We are look­ing at chang­ing the eco-sys­tem in and around Paradip like han­dling clean cargo. In this di­rec­tion along with the clean cargo han­dling berth, the port is putting in place aux­il­iary in­fra­struc­ture to at­tract cus­tomers. The port has in­vested heav­ily to con­trol pol­lu­tion. The con­struc­tion of con­tainer-cum-clean cargo han­dling berth is go­ing to be com­pleted 1 year be­fore the sched­uled time­line. The first ves­sel is ex­pected to be berthed some­time by the end of April 2018. Apart from con­tain­ers, the berth will handle steel coils and other steel prod­ucts. Among other in­fra­struc­ture, the berth has a ware­house ad­ja­cent to it, and a quay­side rail­way ter­mi­nal. One of the highly in­dus­tri­al­ized re­gions in the coun­try is lo­cated within 100km ra­dius of Paradip Port that in­clude, heavy in­dus­tries like steel, alu­minum, fer­til­izer, coal mines and oil re­fin­ery. The Indian Oil re­fin­ery will soon op­er­ate at full ca­pac­ity of 250 mil­lion tonne in cur­rent year, Es­sar pal­let plant will aug­ment ca­pac­ity, and there is growth ex­pected in iron ore pal­let move­ment. Coal move­ment to south­ern parts of In­dia is also go­ing to in­crease. A new mech­a­nized im­port coal han­dling berth will be op­er­a­tional by De­cem­ber 2019, an iron ore han­dling berth will be com­mis­sioned in De­cem­ber-jan­uary of FY2018-19, and the con­tainer han­dling berth will be fully op­er­a­tional in two months. Most of the planned in­fra­struc­ture will be com­plete by De­cem­ber 2019, in­clud­ing mech­a­niza­tion of 3 ex­port coal berths.

Rinkesh Roy, IRTS, Chair­man, Paradip Port Trust

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