Karaikal Port on India’s east coast recently inaugurated what it described as a “mechanised bulk cargo handling system”.
The port said that the INR6B (US$417,000) mechanised system will improve its cargo handling efficiency and green credentials. It will enable cargo to be discharged at a higher rate, handling up to 40,000 tpd, and will ensure that a gearless ship’s stay at port is reduced to two and half days.
As bulk materials are moved via a closed conveyor system, significantly enhancing environment protection.
Mr G R K Reddy, chairman and promoter director, said: “Through mechanisation, we offer an improved bulk handling system for bulk shipments at our port. This improved efficiency of port operations through mechanisation helps in faster turnaround of ships arriving at Karaikal, and also our cargo dispatch rates will increase significantly by rail or road.
“This fully automated bulk handling system will help better discharging of cargo from ships through ship-unloaders, and dispatch the cargo through wagon loading and truck loading stations via the conveyor system with a capacity 4,000 tph, facilitating faster turnaround of vessels, rakes and trucks.”
The “state-of-the-art infrastructure for the mechanised bulk cargo handling system” at the port includes two stacker-reclaimers and belt conveyor system of 5.7 km.
“The port has handled 55 Mt of cargo since operations began, and has been reaching out to regional and international markets through its world-class service and facilities at economical cost,” the port stated.
As well as increasing berth productivity for vessel handling at the port, mechanisation is expected to increase capacity utilisation. With excellent rail and road connectivity to its industrial belts and markets of Tamil Nadu, the project is expected to increase the volume of cargo handled at the port.
The port is also planning to have expansion projects including addition of new warehousing facilities, and said it has adequate land availability to make it a prime destination for investments.