Ennore Port plans expansion, diversification into railway operations
Chennai, March 6 : The country's first corporate port, Ennore Port in Tamil Nadu, is discussing with the Puducherry government to develop the port there, a top port official said Wednesday.
Ennore Port also plans to lay a railway line in partnership with a Tamil Nadu government undertaking to carry freight and passengers, and set up a sector-related industrial park near the port.
"The discussions with the Puducherry government is in preliminary stages to develop the port there. We also planning to acquire 700 acres near our port so as to allow port related industries to set their operations," M.A. Bhaskarachar, chairman-cum-managing director, to reporters here.
"The port if developed will not be competing against the private Karaikal Port as the cargo will be different," added general manager R. Senthil Kumar.
According to Bhaskarachar, the Ennore Port has proposed a railway line, a joint venture with Tamil Nadu Road Development Company which is building a 62-km outer ring road near here.
Kumar said the outer ring road between Vandalur and Minjur has a provision of 25 metres in the middle which is sufficient to build three railway lines.
"We proposed to lay the railway line between Ennore Port and Minjur in the first phase and then Minjur to Vandalur. The Tamil Nadu government wanted to add passenger line as well. The total project outlay will be around Rs.700 crore," Kumar said.
According to him, the next step is to form a joint venture and the contribution of the joint venture partner would be in the form of land.
He said the company is awaiting the final approval from the Union commerce ministry for allocation of 700 acres of salt pans for development of an industrial park for port related industries.
The cost of land is expected to be around Rs.300 crore.
Speaking about the port's ongoing capital projects, Bhaskarachar said the dredging to deepen the draft to 18.5 ft from the current 15.5 ft is expected to be completed by July this year.
He said the Ennore Port is also planning to build second general cargo berth mainly for export of cars.
The company is in the process of raising Rs.1,000 crore through the issue of redeemable non-convertible debentures with a 10 year duration.