A ship has anchored at Sagar Island with the heaviest cargo parcel to reach that point, opening an avenue to save on the logistic cost for industries based in West Bengal and the entire eastern region.
MV Mineral Yangfan, a capesize vessel carrying the Portuguese flag, arrived at the Sagar Anchorage of Kolkata port on Thursday with 70,300 tonnes of coking coal, the highest ever parcel to reach up to that point.
The ship has an overall length of 299.92 metres, nearly twice that of a standard football pitch and width of 50 metres.
The bulk carrier is capable of loading up to 170,000 tonnes of cargo.
It would take about five days of port operation to unload the cargo from the vessel.
Two ship-mounted floating cranes have been deployed to lift the coal from the vessel and load them on barges, each of which can carry 4,000 tonnes of cargo.
The barges will sail 25 km northward to Haldia Dock Complex, which is well connected by a rail network.
The coal will then be loaded on railway rakes to reach the final destination.
The Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the public sector steel behemoth, has chartered the ship for import of coking coal, which will be used in the company’s steel plants in Durgapur, Burnpur and Bokaro.
The port, which is constrained by low river draft, has so far handled 18 capesize vessels from April 1, a multifold rise over the previous financial year when it handled 14 such vessels in 12 months.
Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Kolkata (formerly Kolkata Port Trust) chairman Vinit Kumar said the port could get an additional cargo of 1.5 million tonnes by the anchorage operation.
“This operation benefits importers to a great extent. Previously, they had to bring the same volume of cargo in two or three Panamax vessels, increasing the cost of operation. But now, they can charter a bigger vessel to save freight rates,” he explained.
Importers usually prefer to make two port operations on the eastern coast of India while chartering cape vessels in order to avoid congestion-led delay in cargo in evacuation from a single port to final destinations.
However, they could not bring a cape vessel to Haldia or Kolkata (riverine ports) because of siltation in the river bed, after discharging some of the load in sea ports of Dhamra, Paradip or Vizag ports.
Sagar Anchorage with 9.2- metre draft now allows Kolkata port to handle such large vessels throughout the year, an assurance many importers look for.
Previously, the port used to handle such large ships further deep in the sea at a location called Sandheads during the winter months.
The state secondary board has asked the government and aided schools not to hold any examination as part of the second summative evaluation on September 6 because the government has announced a sectional holiday on September 6 for “Karam Puja”.
The board had earlier asked the schools to conduct the second summative evaluation from August 29 to September 8.
In a notice, the board has told the schools to postpone the exam and reschedule it to any other working day.