It May Not Be a Smooth Sail for Adani’s Dhamra Port

The Economic Times - - Companies - MEGHA MANDAVIA

Adani Ports and Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone wants to con­vert its new prized pos­ses­sion — the .` 5,500-crore Dhamra Port — into Mun­dra Port of the east coast, on the back of an ex­pected up­turn in the econ­omy and ac­cess to the vast min­eral belt. But ex­perts point out that it’s not go­ing to be an easy task with limited avail­abil­ity of land, stiffer com­pe­ti­tion and poorer con­nec­tiv­ity. Gau­tam Adani built Mun­dra Port, of­ten de­scribed as the crown jewel of the Adani Group, in Gu­jarat in 1994. It went to be­come In­dia’s largest pri­vate port. Fac­tors like po­lit­i­cal back­ing, ac­cess to land and in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion in the state helped. It is still not show­ing signs of slow­ing down. “Mun­dra is not some­thing that just comes up. Lot of things hap­pened that helped it. Also ports on the west coast were strug­gling to han­dle cargo with limited ca­pac­ity. The cargo moved to Mun­dra,” said Vib­hor Sing­hal, an an­a­lyst with Phillip Cap­i­tal. “Dhamra will not grow at the same mag­ni­tude as Mun­dra did. But it can move di­rec­tion­ally to­wards it.”

Dhamra Port lo­cated in Odisha han­dled a to­tal cargo of 14.3 mil­lion tonnes last fi­nan­cial year and it aims to grow it 15-20% this year. It cur­rently has two berths and re­cently re­ceived en­vi­ron­ment clear­ance for con­struct­ing 12 more to scale its cargo han­dling ca­pac­ity to 100MT by 2020 from 24MT at present. Mun­dra Port crossed 100MT-mark by han­dling 101.12MT cargo in fis­cal 2014. It has ac­tual ca­pac­ity to han­dle al­most dou­ble at 180MT per an­num. “Dhamra Port is no Mun­dra. If Dhamra can achieve even one-third or one-fourth of what Mun­dra has done, it is good enough. The avail­abil­ity of land is 15-20 times more in Mun­dra and had po­lit­i­cal back­ing in Gu­jarat,” said Ramesh Sing­hal, CEO at i-mar­itime Con­sul­tancy. Mun­dra has about 15,665 acres of land. Dhamra, af­ter try­ing for many years, fi­nally got additional land of about 745 acres from the state govern­ment re­cently.

Sing­hal pointed out an­other thing that sets Mun­dra apart from Dhamra is bet­ter con­nec­tiv­ity. Even though Dhamra has 63 km of pri­vate rail con­nec­tiv­ity, road con­nec­tiv­ity is poor com­pared with Gu­jarat.

Many say Dhamra has po­ten­tial de­spite sev­eral chal­lenges to be the gate­way to the east­ern In­dia the same way Mun­dra is for the western In­dia. If eco­nomic growth picks up in the coun­try, Dhamra will be one of the first to take ad­van­tage of it, say an­a­lysts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.