Both Chennai and Kamarajar ports on a strong growth path: Sunil Paliwal

Chairperson of the Chennai Port Authority (CPA) and CMD, Kamarajar Port Ltd (KPL), Sunil Paliwal, said that both the Chennai and Kamarajar ports were showing good growth. “The Covid pandemic is behind us now, and both Chennai and Kamarajar ports are on a strong growth path,” said Paliwal.

KPL became a fully-owned subsidiary of Chennai Port Trust in March 2020. There is now more convergence between the two government ports than competition with each other, he said on the annual performance of the two ports for fiscal ending March 31, 2022 and gave an overview of various projects undertaken in two ports in the last seven years of completion of Sagarmala, the flagship program of the Shipping Ministry to promote port-led development.

Chennai port handled 48.56 million tonnes (mt) of cargo, and exceeded the Shipping ministry’s target of 44.42 mt. The Kamarajar port at Ennore in North Chennai handled 38.74 mt as against the target of 39 mt, said a senior port official.

Paliwal said the Chennai port reported a 12 per cent increase in cargo handling in 2021-22 as against 4 per cent in the previous year. The Kamarajar port had a 50 per cent growth in cargo handling 2021-22 as against 22 per cent in the previous year. For the current fiscal, the target for Chennai port is to achieve 49 mt and for Kamarjar port it is 42 mt, he added.

Net surplus

Paliwal said CPA earned an operating income of ₹ 826.17 crore in 2021-22 compared to ₹ 794.33 crore in the previous year. The operating expenditure was ₹ 577.58 crore (₹ 557.33 crore). The net surplus (before tax) of ₹ 111.37 crore (₹ 5.82 crore) was the highest for the port in the last 11 years.

Similarly, the KPL earned an operating income of ₹ 827.37 Cr in 2021-22 (₹ 581.09 crore) while the operating expenditure was ₹ 227.76 crore (₹ 226.59 crore). The port had a net surplus (before tax) of ₹ 531.95 crore (₹ 295.83 crore), which was the highest net surplus for KPL, he said.

Sagarmala

On completion of projects under Sagarmala in the last seven years, Paliwal said Chennai port spent ₹ 447 crore on eight projects, including coastal and bunker berths, to create an additional capacity of 4.4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). The Kamarajar port spent ₹ 6,947 crore on ten projects, including an LNG terminal and container terminal, to create an additional capacity of 40.4 mtpa, he said.

Elevated corridor

On the elevated road corridor from the Chennai port to Maduravoyal, Paliwal said that the design is being finalized and the DPR is being prepared by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). By this month-end, the NHAI, which is the executing agency, will call for tender and the work is likely to be awarded by September. It will take nearly 30 months to complete the project, he said. “The project will lead to substantial growth for the port,” he added.

Tariff fixing

Paliwal said the CPA, which is now out of the purview of the Tariff Authority of Major Ports, has set up a committee headed by the port’s deputy chairman to finalize the scale of rates for cargo handling. The committee is expected to give its report in six months, he said.

Published on

April 01, 2022

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