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Chennai Port sets new barytes loading record

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CHENNAI : Chennai Port recently loaded 32,483 tonnes of barytes by mobile harbour crane on to the vessel m.v. MAA SALEHA BEGUM at JD-2 on December 16, 2016, surpassing the previous highest loading of 30,200 tonnes of the same commodity in a single day on September 23, 2008. The cargo, destined for Abu Dhabi, was shipped by Trimex Industries Ltd.

Mr P. Raveendran, IRTS, Chairman of Chennai Port Trust, congratulated the officials of the Port, steamer agent Pradeep Shipping and stevedore Siva Shanmuga Transport for their efforts in facilitating this record and expressed the hope that many more such feats will be achieved at Chennai Port, said a release.

The Chennai port has two private container terminals — Chennai International Terminals Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of PSA International, Singapore, and Chennai Container Terminal Pvt Ltd of DP World, Dubai.

The port handles around 1.5 million TEUs a year. serving It serves Chennai, special economic zones around the city, Bengaluru, southern Andhra Pradesh and parts of southern Tamil Nadu. Nearly 50 per cent of the container traffic is transshipped from Chennai to ports in South-East Asia.

With the growth of new private ports such as Krishnapatnam and Katupalli in the vicinity and the development of a container terminal at Kamarajar port in Ennore, Chennai port could see significant competition and a possible reduction in container traffic going forward.

Located within the city, the Chennai port also faces evacuation challenges. In case a new transshipment hub on the southernmost tip of the country becomes operational, the traffic could decline further, the Master Plan for the Chennai port prepared in 2017 had flagged.

The container traffic also has been stagnating at about 1.5 million TEUs for the past few years — this is only about 50 per cent of the available capacity. This is due to evacuation problems of containers and the competition from nearby ports.

Boston Consultants Group, in a report, had suggested that CCTPL increase the yard equipment to balance the dockside operations and the yard operations to ensure smooth flow of containers. There is also a need to provide additional yard space for CCTPL.

The consultant also suggested developing a common railway yard to increase the volume of evacuation by rail to ease the road congestion. This yard could be developed on the southern side of the port where sufficient area is available for laying additional railway sidings.

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