Kolkata port expands handling capacity

The Port of Kolkata, now known as Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port, successfully carried out lighterage work on two capesize vessels simultaneously in the Sagar Islands, marking a major milestone for the port in expanding its transhipment capacity. Located about 107 km south of Kolkata, Sagar Island is where the Hooghly River meets the Bay of Bengal.

The berthing of the two Capesize vessels, both 291.8 meters long — MV Scarlet and MV Golden Zonhshou — is a testament to the port’s increasing capacity and ability to handle larger vessels, the port said in a statement.

The total cargo of both ships was about one lakh tonne of coke and steam coal destined for SAIL and the Adani Group.

Port officials said light work was being carried out simultaneously from both ships, in a first for the port. Lighterage is the transfer of cargo from one ship to another.

In the 2022–2023 financial year, SMP Kolkata was involved in 21 ship operations with ship-to-ship transfers with a total tonnage of 5,44,945. In addition, they carried out 76 lightering works totaling 33,50,399 tons.

In the 2022/23 financial year, the Sagar Island Port handled a record 65.66 million tonnes of cargo, representing a 12.87 percent growth over the previous year.

SMP Kolkata has also made strides in accommodating larger ships, potentially reducing the logistics costs associated with shipping.

The port will soon also introduce night shipping. This allows for higher ship movement and takes advantage of the night tides.

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