Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Expects 14% Cargo Growth This Fiscal Year

Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP), Kolkata (SMPK), formerly Kolkata Port Trust, is targeting nearly 14 percent business growth in 2023-2024.

According to Rathendra Raman, Chairman of SMPK, some priority areas have been identified for expanding cargo handling capacity and transforming it into a green port through the establishment of solar projects at both the Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock, as well as increasing forest cover.

“The port is on course for growth. In 2022-23, we saw cargo throughput grow almost 13 percent to 65.66 million tons. We had a net surplus of ₹304 crore, an improvement of 150 percent compared to previous years. This year we aim to maintain that growth and also grow by almost 14 percent,” said Raman.

expansion plans

Plans are to increase cargo handling capacity to 130 million t by 2030, at an estimated capital expenditure of ₹4,000 crore.

In order to increase the capacity of the port, SMPK relies heavily on PPP projects. In FY23, three major projects were awarded in PPP mode with an investment of ₹730 crore. These three projects are expected to increase capacity by 6.7 million tons.

In order to reduce congestion and increase port capacity, SMPK plans to develop an expanded port gate system in Balagarh with an investment of approximately ₹445 crore, of which approximately ₹343 crore is to be invested via PPP. Almost ₹98 crore has already been allocated for basic infrastructure development and the port plans to pursue a PPP project with an investor to manage the port’s activities, he said.

The Balagarh facility is expected to be a mixed-use port capable of handling 1.6 million tonnes of coal and 85,000 containers.

The port relies heavily on growing traffic to Nepal, Bangladesh and Northeast India via the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route. Earlier this month, the company had shipped an initial shipment of 20,000 bags of 1,000 tons of cement to start up the Port of Sittwe in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

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