Adani to enter Bengal port sector

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The group strengthens its presence along the east coast



Sambit Saha

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Calcutta

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Posted on 04.10.21, 00:05 AM


The Adani Group, India’s largest integrated port and logistics operator, is poised to enter the Bengal maritime sector.

The Gujarat-based industrial house, headed by chairman and managing director Gautam Adani, became the top bidder for the rights to operate a berth at the Haldia Dock Complex.

The scope of work includes the supply of end-to-end dockside mechanization to be ready within two years from the date of contract award by the port authorities.

This will result in an investment of Rs 300 crore. The berth will be able to handle cargoes of around 3.5 to 4 million tonnes per year.

If all goes according to plan, this could mark the Adani group’s foray into the port and maritime domain of that state and further consolidate its dominance in the port sector.

The group’s port activity is managed by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ).

The company’s website claims it is the largest commercial port operator in India, accounting for almost a quarter of freight movements in the country.

It is present in 13 national ports in seven maritime states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. Bengal will be added to the list when this project comes to fruition.

Gautam Adani

Vinit Kumar, president of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (SMP), Calcutta, which manages port operations in Calcutta and Haldia, confirmed that Adani has become the highest bidder for the end-to-end mechanization of berth number 2 in Haldia . The concession will be given for 30 years under the terms of the tender, he added.

The project will be part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline, launched by the Narendra Modi government in 2019, through which opportunities in at least nine vertical infrastructures – roads and bridges, railroad, port, among others – will be identified and developed in partnership with the sector. private. sector.

Adani is also among a handful of shortlisted bidders to operate a berth in the Calcutta wharf system, Kumar informed.

The company has not commented on the developments.

Change of dynamics

Shipping industry sources say the entry of India’s largest port operator, owned by Asia’s second richest man, could change the dynamics of cargo handling activities in Haldia, which processes coal, the iron ore and petroleum products more than any other cargo. Local players have so far controlled the majority of the trade with an iron fist, avoiding the challenges of Pan-Indian businesses.

“A presence in Haldia will further consolidate their strength on the east coast of India, where it has a chain of ports and terminals. It will also help them in their coal trading activities, ”said a shipping industry official who is aware of developments.

In 2012, the ABG Group had to leave Haldia under questionable circumstances after failing to operate a terminal in Haldia, blaming entrenched actors who enjoyed political patronage. Many believe Gautam Adani, who is seen to be close to the ruling Center party, will be a different kettle of fish, however.

Besides Dhamra in Odisha which is the closest port to Haldia, Adani owns and operates the ports of Gangavaram and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and the port of Kattupalli, north of Chennai in Tamil Nadu. It operates terminals at the government ports of Ennore and Vizag, just as it plans to do in Haldia and Calcutta.

The company has an annual capacity of 335 mt on the west coast and 227 mt on the east coast. The company aims to achieve a handling capacity of 350 to 360 tonnes of cargo in 2021-2022, an increase of 45% from the previous year.

The shift to end-to-end mechanization will make the Haldia terminal the most efficient berth. The cargo will be unloaded by mobile harbor cranes on a conveyor belt to the stockyard. A stacker-reclaimer will be used to lift the cargo onto another conveyor which will transport the material to a rapid loading system.

Thanks to this rapid loading system, first introduced in Haldia, a complete rail rake can be loaded in two hours flat. Currently, dumpers are used to load the rakes.

Growth mode

The Adani group has continued to strengthen its presence in Bengal. She operates an edible oil factory under Adani Wilmar in Haldia. It also obtained the distribution rights for town gas in partnership with Indian Oil Corporation in the Burdwan district. In addition, an infrastructure arm of the conglomerate has been awarded the extension of the Durgapur – Pulsit section of the six-lane national road.

As the government of Mamata Banerjee tries to build a new port in Tajpur, not far from Haldia, the interest shown by India’s largest port operator can be seen as positive for the future development of the state’s maritime sector.

  • Adani emerges as the highest bidder for a place in Haldia
  • The berth will mainly import coal
  • This marks Adani’s entry into the Bengal port sector
  • Adani is the largest port operator in India
  • Adani group among shortlisted candidates for Calcutta post


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