Grow­ing Econ­omy needs Ex­pan­sive Port In­fra­struc­ture

The ses­sion dis­cussed mar­itime and lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture, ca­pac­ity ex­pan­sion hap­pen­ing in In­dia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to ben­e­fit the trade move­ment

Maritime Gateway - - Business Session – I -

The South Asian re­gion is the fastest grow­ing econ­omy and as it grows the im­por­tance of port re­lated in­fra­struc­ture ex­pan­sion be­comes more ev­i­dent,” re­marked Mod­er­a­tor and Chair­per­son,

Com­modore A K M Faruque Has­san, (N) afwc, psc, BN, Chair­man, Mongla Port Au­thor­ity, Bangladesh.

“South Asia is the least in­te­grated re­gion and in­tra-re­gional trade ac­counts for 5 per cent, while in­tra-re­gional in­vest­ment is less than 1 per cent. This high­lights the po­ten­tial for growth,” com­mented

Fayyaz Khund­ker, MD, Ocean Net­work Ex­press (Bangladesh) Ltd.

Con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween neigh­bour­ing na­tions has to im­prove and this is pos­si­ble only if bi­lat­eral gov­ern­men­tal meet­ings and poli­cies fo­cus on it. Con­nec­tiv­ity is not a stand­alone is­sue and needs con­tri­bu­tion by all na­tions and by all means, which in­cludes im­prov­ing lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture as well. A lot of trade in South Asia moves through ex­pen­sive tran­sit routes, for in­stance, cot­ton from

In­dia moves via tran­ship­ment hubs to Bangladesh in­creas­ing the lo­gis­tics cost. A be­gin­ning needs to be made on se­lected routes rather than opt­ing for ex­ten­sive cov­er­age and gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives along with pri­vate par­tic­i­pa­tion through PPP will be ef­fec­tive. Tech­nol­ogy and knowl­edge shar­ing among re­gional coun­tries can help boost col­lab­o­ra­tive de­vel­op­ment.

Vinit Ku­mar, IRSEE, Chair­man, Kolkata Port Trust, In­dia elab­o­rated on in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment at Kolkata Port and how trade with Bangladesh through the port can be im­proved. Giv­ing a brief in­tro about Kolkata Port, Vinit Ku­mar shared the port’s per­for­mance that was 58 mil­lion tonnes of to­tal load­ing in 2017

(41 MT in Hal­dia and 17 MT at Kolkata) and this year 10-12 per cent growth is ex­pected. Last year rev­enues were `2300 crores and this year 10 per cent growth is ex­pected. The port has draft and ves­sel size re­stric­tions due to which trans-load­ing is done. The port has an­chor­ages at open sea and at Sagar and Di­a­mond har­bour. Two float­ing cranes are de­ployed and a jetty has been con­structed out­side the dock sys­tem. The cranes can dis­charge cargo at the rate of

8000 tonnes per day. The port is de­vel­op­ing mul­ti­modal in­fra­struc­ture for which the main­line from Hal­dia is be­ing dou­bled. At Kolkata Port the con­tainer han­dling ca­pac­ity is one and half rake per day and after ca­pac­ity ad­di­tion the han­dling will in­crease to four rakes per day. Two ter­mi­nals are be­ing de­vel­oped out­side the har­bour in Hal­dia, one for liq­uid cargo while other will be bulk-cum-liq­uid ter­mi­nal. A mech­a­nised berth will be added at Kolkata Port and a bulk cargo han­dling berth will be added at Hal­dia. The vi­sion is to ex­pe­dite the dis­charge rate and evac­u­a­tion at the port.

There is a lot of trade im­bal­ance be­tween In­dia and Bangladesh. While ex­ports from In­dia are 6 bil­lion, im­ports from Bangladesh are about

600 mil­lion. 60 – 70 per cent of this cargo moves through the land ports, so there is huge po­ten­tial for seatrade to grow. About 5000 con­tain­ers were ex­changed with Bangladesh through Kolkata Port last year and in the first half of the cur­rent year about 4000 con­tain­ers have al­ready moved.

“All the cot­ton from In­dia still goes by trucks to Bangladesh, while one of the largest pri­vate ports on the east coast of In­dia is just at a dis­tance of 2 hours drive from Gun­tur, the cot­ton cap­i­tal of In­dia,” re­vealed

Anil Yend­luri, Direc­tor and CEO, Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port Com­pany

Ltd, In­dia. This is be­cause we have some con­nec­tiv­ity is­sues be­tween Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam and Bangladesh. If these are re­solved then traders from both the coun­tries will ben­e­fit. The port plans to in­crease its bulk han­dling ca­pac­ity to 300 mil­lion tonnes in a decade or two. This can be achieved by build­ing 42 ad­di­tional berths and dredg­ing them up to 22 me­ters of draft. The port has ex­cel­lent road con­nec­tiv­ity with 5000 trucks mov­ing in and out daily with zero wait­ing time. This ca­pac­ity can be scaled to 50,000 trucks as the roads con­nect­ing the port are 20 lanes broader. The port can evac­u­ate 60 trains a day.

The IT in­fra­struc­ture is main­tained such that the data moves be­tween the stake­hold­ers faster than the cargo. Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port of­fers door-todoor ser­vice to en­sure ease of do­ing busi­ness.

Anil also hinted at some of the syn­er­gies In­dia and Bangladesh can de­velop to grow to­gether. For in­stance, in South In­dia all the states have banned river sand min­ing, while there is lot of sand in Bangladesh that can be ex­ported to In­dia. Sim­i­larly raw cot­ton can be ex­ported to Bangladesh and fin­ished gar­ments can be im­ported back to In­dia.

Tamal Roy, Chief Strat­egy Of­fi­cer, JM Baxi Group, In­dia briefed on the oper­a­tions of his com­pany. “JM Baxi Group has al­ways looked east and this has led us to de­velop some ter­mi­nals pri­mar­ily in Hal­dia, Paradip and Vizag.” Hal­dia Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal han­dles 200,000 teus an­nu­ally and there are plans to in­crease ca­pac­ity by adding quay cranes and other equip­ment. Ves­sels are al­ready call­ing this ter­mi­nal from Pan­gaon in Bangladesh. The Paradip mul­ti­pur­pose ter­mi­nal has 16 me­ters draft and has just been com­mis­sioned. It han­dled half mil­lion tonnes of steel till date and will soon han­dle con­tain­ers as well. It caters to the hin­ter­land of Odisha. The Vizag ter­mi­nal han­dles 400,000 teus per anum and is be­ing ex­panded to han­dle a mil­lion teus per anum. Bangladesh traders can save 30 per cent of their cost by us­ing ports on the east coast, while In­dia can use ports in Bangladesh to con­nect north-east­ern states. Ports on the east coast can also help in repo­si­tion­ing of emp­ties.

Reg­u­la­tory moves such as re­lax­ation of Cab­o­tage and coastal ship­ping agree­ment be­tween In­dia and Bangladesh of­fer tremen­dous po­ten­tial for trade com­mu­nity in both coun­tries to re­duce their lo­gis­tics cost and time.

“75 per cent of the cargo at the port of Colombo is tran­ship­ment, of which 75 per cent is des­tined for the ports in Bay of Ben­gal,” said

Romesh David, CEO, South Asia Gate­way Ter­mi­nals Pvt Ltd,

Sri Lanka. In this con­text Port of Colombo has posted a fif­teen year CAGR of 9 per cent which re­flects upon the growth in trade from South Asia to the rest of the world. South Asia be­ing the fastest grow­ing re­gion in the world, the trade has im­mense po­ten­tial. To match this grow­ing trade the Port of Colombo has been ex­pand­ing its ca­pac­ity. Cur­rently it has 7 mil­lion teus ca­pac­ity, grow­ing at around 12 per cent y-o-y. The hard in­fra­struc­ture at the port has an ad­di­tional ex­pan­sion ca­pac­ity of 9 mil­lion teus. This growth will be com­ple­men­tary to the growth of neigh­bour­ing ports in South Asia.

“Be it ports in In­dia, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, how do we in­crease the vol­umes of cargo? Are we do­ing busi­ness amongst our­selves?” ques­tioned Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Prin­ci­pal Co­or­di­na­tor (SDG

Af­fairs), Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice, Gov­ern­ment of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh. If we in­crease the trade among our na­tions it will add to the per­for­mance of our ports and economies. As the first step Bangladesh will need to in­crease its ex­ports to ASEAN. The coun­try is ex­pand­ing its lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing wa­ter­ways as all the rivers are be­ing dredged for mov­ing cargo. Cargo from Chit­tagong can reach As­sam and the seven sis­ter states of In­dia. Traders can choose any of the ports in Bangladesh based on time and cost ef­fi­cien­cies. In ad­di­tion to in­fra­struc­ture, the Cus­toms and other gov­ern­ment ser­vices in the coun­try are be­ing stream­lined for ease of do­ing busi­ness.

(L to R) Tamal Roy, Chief Strat­egy Of­fi­cer, JM Baxi Group; Fayyaz Khund­ker, MD, Ocean Net­work Ex­press (Bangladesh) Ltd;Anil Yend­luri, Direc­tor and CEO, Kr­ish­na­p­at­nam Port Com­pany Ltd; A K M Faruque Has­san, (N) afwc, psc, BN, Chair­man, Mongla Port Au­thor­ity; Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Prin­ci­pal Co­or­di­na­tor (SDG Af­fairs), Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice, Gov­ern­ment of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh; Romesh David, CEO, South Asia Gate­way Ter­mi­nals Pvt Ltd; Vinit Ku­mar, IRSEE, Chair­man, Kolkata Port Trust

An en­grossed au­di­ence dur­ing the ses­sion

Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Prin­ci­pal Co­or­di­na­tor (SDG Af­fairs), Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice, Gov­ern­ment of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh, mak­ing his point on trade and lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture

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