...Essar Ports is investing about $500 million more for new projects
MUMBAI : Given the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is to replicate the success of his ports-led development seen in Gujarat, in the past, at a National level, it is now the time for Coastal Economic Zones to take India’s growth story forward feels Mr. Rajiv Agarwal, MD and CEO, Essar Ports Ltd. Exploiting India’s long coastline to develop more ports will certainly see many other industries coming in and that is the genesis of Government’s ambitious ‘Sagarmala Project’.
Developing inland waterways for transport and connecting them to coastal ports is the other major initiative of the Government. This will lead to a holistic development of Coastal Economic Zones located around ports. Ports-led development will enable more movement of cargo, reduction in transportation cost and will benefit exporters and importers. Secondly, he feels, India will see multidimensional activities in the adjoining coastal areas such as development in terms of real estate, quality of life, setting up of new industrial units and will trigger a whole lot of other economic and social developments.
He opines that, “We are talking about development of Coastal Economic Zones which are set up, not due to Government incentives, like tax incentives, but will come up due to the major benefits accruing from movement and transport of goods through the coastal route.”
Speaking about the capacity of Essar Ports, he said, “Our current cargo handling capacity is about 82 MMTPA and we are heading towards 110 MMTPA. Further, in Mozambique we will be setting up a 20 MMTPA project for a coal terminal, where we are looking at providing credible end-to-end solutions for miners.
We are planning to start work by Q1 of FY19 or thereafter. This is Essar Ports’ first overseas investment. It will take two years to develop the port.
We are also looking at diversifying and increasing our presence, especially at Salaya and Hazira in Gujarat.
We could also look at some other terminals like LNG. So, there are various plans we are looking at in the coming few years and these will definitely give a big push to our future growth.”
Speaking about the Group’s investment in the port sector, he said, “Essar Group has invested $2 billion, of which around $400 million in book value terms has been sold. Now, we are investing about $500 million more for new projects.”