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Kakinada port berths 1st Cape Size vessel

Aditya Sabharwal

The privately operated Kakinada seaports limited is making all strides to enter into the big league of ports. A visit to the port’s facility one notices a spurt of activities wherein its stakeholders are making an aggressive push to attract cargo from other neighboring ports while showcasing the port as a cost effective destination for its customers.
Just recently KSPL berthed a cape size vessel which brought in 1,04,310 Mts of Petcoke from the US. Albeit cape size vessels require a draft of 17.5 meters, KSPL with a draft of 14.5 meters was able to achieve this significant milestone. This was due to the fact the vessel was brought in with 70% load which is still an achievement as the costs benefits of a cape size vessel far outweigh a panamax vessel.
‘With the coming of this cape size vessel it will be a straight $4 savings for our customers’ said Mr Muralidhar, COO, KSPL.
The port which caters to the cargo of east & west Krishna districts, Guntur and to the hinterlands of Telangana and Maharashtra has a full length wharf of about 1910 meters comprising of 11 functional berths.
Credit is being given to the private operator of the terminal for making this happen. “It’s a milestone both for KSPL and terminal operator Bothra Shipping services as its for  their marketing efforts that we have been able to achieve this milestone” said Mr M Muralidhar, COO, KSPL.
The Bothra group currently operates 3 terminals at the port i.e. fertilizer, coal and has also made investments into the container terminal handling facility in collaboration with PSA of Singapore.
Though the numbers are still small for its container terminal it has set a target of 30,000 teus for this calendar year.
Similarly for bulk cargo the port is gearing up to handle about 16.5 MMT for this fiscal compared to 12.25 MMT handled during the last fiscal. The port has a 25MMT handling capacity.
This is a two century old port and in fact the oldest port said Dr Praveen Koya, director of ports, AP. Traditionally the port has been handling cargo such as rice, tobacco, coir products and wooden logs (for lumbering).
Very soon you shall see the port handle a fully laden cape size vessel of 180DWT said the director of ports, AP.
The port also serves as an important channel to the offshore drilling in the KG basin. It is the epicenter for offshore exploration of KG basin said Dr Praveen Koya.
‘We have dedicated 6 berths for off shore supply vessels serving the KG basin’ said Mr M Muralidhar, COO, KSPL.
It was back in 2004 that the port got its first railway siding, connecting it to the south central railway network. At its peak it was handling about 10-11 rakes a day which has now come down to 7 rakes a day. With the coming of cape KSPL sees this number to increase.
Some of the main stay commodities handled by the Kakinada sea ports limited include fertilizers, liquids and granite.
CNG Terminal
As per the COO the port has already been given the environmental clearance for the CNG terminal. ‘We are currently weighing in the investment options’ stated Mr Muralidhar.
The port has an aluminia berth too which is operated by Vedanta while also has a floating dry dock which KSPL says is the 1st of its kind on the east coast of India.

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