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KoPT ropes in L&T Consultancy as it seeks to expand capacity

KoPT ropes in L&T Consultancy as it seeks to expand capacity
The KoPT has already undertaken capacity expansion by having liquid outer terminals.

In a bid to expand its capacity to 90 million tonnes per annum, the Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has engaged L&T Consultancy to prepare a master plan for the roadmap. In the not-so-distant past, the KoPT was treated as a dying port but things have turned around under chairman Vineet Kumar in the past year.

Port users have now asked the authorities to gear up for more capacity to handle additional demand that could jump by another 200 per cent from present volume. "Given the demand trend and indications from the users, we have engaged L&T Consultancy for a master plan to ramp up the cargo handling capacity to 90 million tonnes in 4-5 years. Currently, the capacity is around 60 million tonne," Vineet Kumar said on the sidelines of a roadshow for the proposed Maritime Conclave 2019 in the city.

"We want Haldia's capacity to get ramped up to 65 million tonnes from 45 million tonnes now and Kolkata Docks' capacity to 25 million tonnes from 17-18 million tonnes now," he said. SAIL Executive Director L N Mallik said they want to increase production and asked the port to take steps to ensure enhanced infrastructure to handle higher raw materials and finished goods.

The KoPT has already undertaken capacity expansion by having liquid outer terminals I and II in Haldia. Speaking about the proposed Tajpur deep-sea port, Kumar said there had been no official communication from the state government about their intent to exit the joint venture and the current ongoing studies continue as usual.

Meanwhile, Shipping ministry director (ports) Arvind Chaudhary said investment interests to the tune of USD 20 billion could be expected from the proposed Maritime Conclave to be held in Bhubaneswar on February 14-15. In 2016, memorandums of understanding worth USD 13 billion was signed.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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