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Krishnapatnam port eyes 30 percent growth

Posted on Nov 29, 06:40PM | IANS

After stagnant growth over the last few years, privately-run Krishnapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh is expecting 30 percent growth during the current fiscal.

The all-weather port in Nellore district will handle 21 million tonnes cargo during 2012-13, against 15.4 million tonnes during the previous year, a top port official said.

Anil Yendluri, CEO, Krishnapatnam port, told reporters on the sidelines of an event here Thursday that the port would be handling 16 million tonnes coal, which would be 66 percent of the total cargo to be handled during the current year.

Part of CVR and Navayuga Group of companies, Krishnapatnam port aims to be India's largest port by 2016-17 with annual capacity of 200 million tonnes and 42 berths.

It has so far invested USD 1 billion (about over Rs.5,000 crore) and plans to invest another USD 3 billion in the next five to 10 years.

"Krishnapatnam will be bigger than Vizag and Kandla put together. They are the number one and number two ports currently," Yendluri told a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on exports from Andhra Pradesh.

"Very soon we will overtake the established ports on the eastern coast because a lot of trade is happening between India and the eastern nations," he said.

Currently, Krishnapatnam is bigger than Gangavaram and Kakinada ports put together in terms of size and almost equal in terms of operations.

The port registered eight percent growth in the first year and 16 percent in second and third years, mainly due to the boom in iron exports. At one time, iron ore was 70 percent of the total cargo handled but it has now completely disappeared due the ban on iron ore exports.

"This has not hit us because we changed the cargo profile by developing infrastructure for coal cargo. Today we are the second or third largest port in the country handling coal and we have also received an award from Australia trade body as the best coal port in the country," he said.

He explained that Krishnapatnam could handle the biggest vessels in the world. It is currently handling vessels carrying 170,000 tonnes of coal.