Paradip Port, one of the major ports in India, sees more opportunities ahead due to the much-anticipated connectivity activity in the vicinity and launching of the industrial zone. Rinkesh Roy, Chairman, Paradip Port Trust (PPT), in a discussion with Pankaj Joshi, outlined the reasons for optimism and also the steps taken to improve internal efficiency.
Can you elaborate on the connectivity in and around Paradip Port Trust?
Paradip Port has a long history – of the port started in 1962. Currently Paradip Port has 16 berths, 1 Ro-Ro jetty and 3 single point mooring locations, aggregating a capacity of 277 million tonnes. The location enables us to serve a vast hinterland over the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. We are linked to NH-5 through a four-lane road and the state highway to Cuttack, connects us to the mines. Also, there is a broad gauge of 90 kilometre (km) with Cuttack, which connects with the Howrah-Chennai route. Another line, the 82-km-Haridaspur-Paradip Railway line is under construction, which again will improve connectivity with the iron ore belt. If you see our operating income growth, it is indeed steady.
Predominant cargo handled (million tonnes)
What is the visible impact of Paradip itself being identified as a major chemical, petrochemical and petroleum product hub?
There is an upcoming zone at Paradip PCPIR (Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region), which will benefit us hugely. The zone has Indian Oil as the anchor tenant, whose 45 million tonne refinery is under operation. There is a full ecosystem, with IFFCO (2 million tonnes fertilizer unit producing DAP, Phosphoric Acid & Sulphuric Acid), Paradeep Phosphate (1.25 million tonne of DAP and other phosphatic fertilizers) and Goa Cardon (1.35 lakh tonnes of calcined petroleum coke). Apart from an industrial park, there is a plastic park, a logistics park and much more coming up. The envisaged investment in the zone is around Rs 2.77 trillion across two phases.
Envisaged Investments in PCPIR
We are aiming to develop a world-class smart industrial port city. A multi-modal logistics park is being developed over 100 acres by CONCOR, which will make us the largest hub in Eastern India with 1.1 million sq feet warehousing. In the processing zone, there are 40 expression of interests (EOI) in hand from players across different industries. There is a pelletisation plant being set up, and a tank terminal for Numaligarh refinery. An LPG terminal, a food park and a wood park are also in different stages of implementation. The city would naturally be self sufficient in water and waste management, current slum rehabilitation, residential and commercial areas.
We have invested around Rs 3,500 crore across different projects. Please find the division below:
- Rs 500 crore in clean cargo and container berth, operational since March.
- Rs 750 crore to develop a new iron ore terminal.
- Rs 1,500 crore to mechanise the three berths handling thermal coal exports.
- Rs 600 crore to develop a new coal import berth.
Our capacity has gone up from 108.5 million tonnes in FY2014 to 163.6 million tonnes in March 2018, and our capacity utilisation in the first half of the current year stood at 68 per cent. We are consistently striving to improve our performance
parameters, both in service time and turnaround time. With all this, now we would seek regulatory modifications to be able to independently fix tariffs so as to make the optimum use of this capex.
Capacity build up over last five years (million tonnes)
What kind of modifications would you like to see in the regulatory framework for the ports?
Ports may be given a free hand to notify tariffs, which would be based on market forces and more realistic to attract cargo to the port.