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Haldia Dock makes room for swelling bulk cargo

Calcutta, June 29: Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), a mainstay of the Calcutta Port Trust (CPT), is setting up a new berth in collaboration with International Sea Ports Ltd (ISPL) to cope with the increase in bulk cargo.

Confirming the move, HDC deputy chairman M .. Meena said the new berth, coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore, is expected to be commissioned by September, ahead of schedule. It will largely be used for shipments of iron ore and cooking coal.

ISPL, a consortium of three companies including Larsen & Toubro, has entered into a long-term contract to manage bulk imports of iron ore and coking coal made by Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in Haldia.

Meena said Haldia dock should be in a position to handle two million tonnes of cargo every year — a rise of 1.5 million tonnes — once the new berth ready for use.

Bulk importers will pay around Rs 300 less than the charges in other major ports, a senior HDC executive said.

HDC, which recently set up a business development cell, has won many customers from the northern region, where many leather, carpet and edible oil firms are ready to use it as an outlet for imports and exports.

Sources said 7000-10,000 new containers are expected to be handled as a result of HDC’s new initiatives, and earnings could increase by around Rs 50 crore.

Indian Oil Corporation and Gail also plan to use Haldia in a big way. Both public sector units intend to route international trade in bitumen, naphtha and other petroleum products through the dock, Meena said.

Gail plans to export 400 boxes of polymer every month, which will give the port additional earnings of Rs 3 crore every year.

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