Krishnapatnam Port Company, India’s second-largest private port that reported strong growth in cargo and containers business last fiscal year, is augmenting infrastructure to meet traffic from expanding intra-Asia trade.
In the fiscal year ended March 2018, the port handled 45 million tonnes of cargo, up 25% from the year before, and 4.81 lakh TEUs (20 foot equivalent units) of containers, which increased 88%. Chief executive Anil Yendluri attributed the performance to commencement of transhipment business, which was previously going to foreign shores.
“A very substantial percentage, nearly half of container business, is from transhipment cargo volume, which was shifted from neighbouring foreign ports like Singapore,” said terminal director Vinita Venkatesh. Nearly 45% growth achieved in origin and destination cargo of hinterland has also helped the port improve container volumes, she said.
The port has set up a dedicated coastal cargo berth to handle growing coastal cargo traffic and reducing time loss in a bid to emerge as a coastal cargo hub on India’s east coast, Venkatesh said.
“The port has planned a total investment of $3 billion, of which $1.23 billion has already been invested for development till date with the second phase of expansion underway, which is nearing completion,” said Yendluri. The port will build three-four more berths for Ro-Ro (roll-on, roll-off ships that transport automobiles), liquid cargo and LNG/LPG over the next year or two, adding to the existing 11, the CEO said.
The port has 80 million tonnes of cargo capacity. Last fiscal year, it handled 45 million tonnes and this year, it expects the business to reach 55 million tonnes. The container terminal capacity will soon reach 1.5 million TEUs and the port hopes to report business of around 7 lakh TEUs this fiscal year.
Krishnapatnam Port will have a capacity to handle 100 million tonnes on completion of the second phase of expansion, Yendluri said.
In all, the port has so far invested around Rs 8,000 crore in the first two phases and reported revenue of Rs 1,750 crore during the fiscal year through March 2017.
The CEO said the port was benefited due to increased exports of cement, non-basmati rice and wind mill equipment, among others.