After stabilising transloading model to improve cargo flow into the riverine port, Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) will ramp up this activity that could result in cargo growth of 17 per cent to 54 million tonnes in the current fiscal.
“We are looking at cargo growth of 54 million tonnes for 2015-16. Investment for transloading is being made by the PPP partner Jindal ITF worth Rs 250 crore to procure more transloaders, tugs and daughter vessels which will strengthen handling capacity of cargo,” KoPT chairman RPS Kahlon said.
In 2014-15, KoPT handled 46.29 million tonnes with 12 per cent cargo growth. KoPT aims at 5-6 million tonne of additional cargo initially, which could go up to 25 million tonne by 2020. KoPT allows transloading at three points — Kanika Sands, Sandheads and Sagar.
The mechanism allows vessels with cargo of about four times than what a ship entering Haldia or Kolkata docks can carry. Interestingly, risk is also almost nil as there is no berth at high sea and transfer of cargo takes place by transloaders which have equipment to handle such jobs for mid-sea transfer.
KoPT began testing transloading operation at Sandheads in October 2013 with Jindal ITF for sending imported coal to NTPC Power Plant at Farakka.
Vessel Navios Sky, with 76,999 metric tons of imported coal, is currently discharging its cargo at Sandheads.