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MPT registers 19 p.c. growth in cargo traffic in 2008-09

Special Correspondent


It handles an all-time high of 41.64 million tonnes

It also registers a record increase in exports


PANAJI: Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) has returned a double-digit growth of 19 per cent in cargo traffic on a year-on-year basis for the fiscal 2008-09 despite global recession.

Releasing the performance figures of the port, Chairman Praveen Agarwal said here early this week that by this performance, the port even exceeded the throughput target prescribed by the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways.

During the financial year 2008-09, the port touched an all-time record cargo traffic of 41.68 million tonnes, surpassing its previous best of 35.13 million tonnes handled in 2007-08.

The country’s leading iron ore exporting port (with exports of nearly 50 per cent of the total), MPT has also registered an all-time record increase of 24 per cent in exports. Of the throughput target of 41.68 million tonnes, exports accounted for 34.67 million tonnes, while imports accounted for 7.01 million tonnes. This included a record 33.81 million tonnes of iron ore exports surpassing the previous highest of 27.30 million tonnes.

Fall

However, an apparent outcome of the global meltdown saw a decrease in the arrival of cruise traffic to Mormugao, as only 24 cruise vessels carrying 10,878 passengers called at the port compared to 38 cruise liners with 12,997 passengers in 2007-08.

MPT is, however, going ahead with development projects. Among the new projects is the ongoing construction of additional three mooring dolphins. The facility is expected to be ready by October 2009. It will cost the port Rs. 25 crore, including expenses on dredging.

As regards its new four-lane road planned from the Port to Verna, leading industrial estate of the State in south Goa, Mr. Agarwal says the port connectivity project is being implemented by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) through Mormugao Port Company Limited.

The NHAI has now decided to take up the work for the remaining 5.20- km stretch and is on the verge of forwarding the tender.

Mr. Agarwal said that the construction of a jetty for relocation of port crafts and small boats has been taken up by MPT. The 190-metre long and 10-metre wide berth would be used by launches and other shallow draft vessels as also offshore vessels, Navy, Coast Guard, Fisheries Survey of India, NIO, Antarctica and ONGC. The work has been awarded to Ranjit Buildcon Ltd., Ahmedabad, which has commenced construction. This facility is expected to be completed by March 2010.

MPT is also in the process of building another full-fledged non-cargo berth and simultaneous strengthening of the breakwater mole, which will hold a deck slab of 270 metres long and 22 metres wide. This berth will serve non-cargo vessels, including cruise vessels. The contract for this berth, which is expected to be in use by March 2010, has been awarded to Geotech Construction, Kochi.

MPT’s expansion drive will see it develop a modern terminal for coal import at berth 7 on DBFOT basis within three years, said Mr. Agarwal. The terminal would have a capacity of 4.61 million tonnes and its cost has been pegged at Rs. 252 crore. Five parties have been short-listed for this project and the concession agreement is expected to come through by July this year.

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