Essar Ports, which operates port terminals on the east and west coasts of the country, has recorded a 25 per cent growth in its cargo traffic in 2016-17.
The consolidated cargo handling across the company's five operational ports at Hazira (Gujarat), Paradip (Odisha), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Salaya (Gujarat) and Vadinar (Gujarat) rose to 72.86 million tonnes in 2016-17, compared to 58.27 million tonne in the previous fiscal. Third-party traffic grew by 60 per cent.
Essar Ports' dry bulk cargo rose 52 per cent at 30.39 million tonnes (mt) compared to 19.97 mt in 2015-16. The anchor customer of Essar Ports' dry bulk terminals at Hazira, Paradip and Visakhapatnam is Essar Steel.
Rajiv Agarwal, managing director & chief executive officer, Essar Ports, said: "I am delighted with the robust growth in cargo traffic across our ports and terminals in FY17. I am especially happy about the remarkable growth in bulk cargo because that is where the future lies. We expect higher growth in the coming years because of increasing capacity utilisation by our anchor customers and heightened economic activity in the country."
The 30 mt Hazira bulk terminal manages dry bulk, break bulk and project cargo for Essar Steel's 10 mt Hazira Steel Complex. The terminal is being expanded to 50 mt capacity. Likewise, the 16 mt dry bulk terminal in Paradip handles pellets for Essar Steel. At Visakhapatnam, Essar Ports operated a 16 mt terminal handles both iron ore and pellets for Essar Steel, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and other major steel players. The capacity of this terminal is being expanded to 32 million tonne per annum (mtpa).
The substantial growth in cargo traffic at these ports indicates the heightened activity and capacity utiliation at Essar Steel.
Essar Ports' Vadinar Oil terminal, which receives crude and dispatches finished products for Essar Oil's 20 mt Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, recorded a growth of 11 per of liquid cargo. It recorded a throughput of 42.47 mt in 2016-17 compared to 38.30 mt in 2015-16.
Essar Ports is one of the largest port companies of India, with a current capacity of 140 mtpa. The capacity is being expanded to 194 mtpa over the next few years.