Pipavav port investing Rs.14.2 bn to expand capacity (Lead, correcting figures)

October 4th, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Oct 4 (IANS) Private sector port major Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd (GPPL) is investing Rs.14.2 billion ($309 million) to build new container yards to ramp up capacity, company officials said. The expansion project would enable the port to handle 600,000 containers by December this year and an additional 670,000 by the end of 2009.

GPPL, part of the Fortune 500 company APM Terminals, handled 11.49 million tonnes of bulk cargo and 560,000 tonnes of container cargo last fiscal. The company reported an operating income of Rs.1.9 billion during 2007-08.

According to company sources, GPPL is also looking for investments from other players for the further development of Pipavav port.

Pipavav is an all weather-port and is strategically located at the entrance of Gulf of Cambay in the Saurashtra region.

As part of the expansion plan, the port will launch the second phase of dredging soon.

The port is also acquiring two post-panamax quay cranes with twin lift facility, taking the number of such cranes to five. The port has also ordered six rubber-tired gantries (RTG) cranes. The port currently has 18 RTGs.

GPPL will invest Rs.7.7 billion for dredging and acquiring equipment.

The sources added that GPPL has singed a memorandum of understanding with thermal power producer Videocon Industries Ltd to set up a coal terminal to handle imported coal.

According to the Gujarat Industrial Development Board, the ports in the state currently handle 30 percent of cargo from the landlocked northern hinterland. This is expected to increase to 100 percent by 2015.

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