CHENNAI: Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) plans to set up an off-site facility at Jolarpet to enable speedy clearance of export and import containers.
The facility will be set up in railway land near Jolarpet junction about 225 kilometer (km) from Chennai en route Bengaluru. Southern Railway has given its in-principle approval for the project which needs 55 acres.
P Raveendran, Chairman, ChPT said that a detailed project report will be commissioned soon.
The Jolarpet facility will be like a container freight station where clearances, will be handled and cargo transported by train directly from Jolarpet to Chennai Port to be on board a container ship. Similarly, customers can take delivery of import containers from Jolarpet.
The construction of coastal terminal is progressing at an estimated cost of INR 80 crore to handle exclusive coastal cargo said Ravindran. The terminal will have one million tonnes capacity annually. The port is improving movement of vehicles along the port roads with access to container terminals made easy.
The port ended the fiscal March 31, 2017 with a handling of 50.21 million tonnes of cargo, marginally up from 50.06 MT handled last year.
He said that “We managed to surpass last year’s cargo traffic despite severe competition from neighbouring ports of Kamarajar and L&T Kattupalli.”
Container throughput in 2016-17 was down by 4% to 15.65 lakh TEU (twenty foot equivalent units) as against 14.95 lakh TEU in the previous year. The decline was due to diversion of container traffic to Kattupalli Port.
He said that the port’s operating income for 2016-17 is likely to be INR 776 crore as against NR 758 crore. By exercising tight control on ‘avoidable’ expenditure, the operating ratio is likely to to be 70% from 74% in the previous fiscal.