Essar Ports, on Friday, said it recorded a 12 per cent growth in cargo, including a 32 per cent rise in bulk cargo, in the first quarter of 2017-18, ended June 30 2017, compared to the same period last fiscal.
The company handled a record 19.62 million tonnes (17.57 mt) during the review period with most of it handled by Vadinar port, according to a press release here.
For dry and unit cargo, a significant 32 per cent growth was recorded.
This growth in traffic at the company’s three dry bulk ports in Hazira, Paradip and Vizag, came on the back of heightened activity and capacity utilisation of Essar Steel, which is Essar Port’s anchor customer.
The overall growth in traffic was also helped by the 60 per cent increase in third-party cargo volumes during the quarter.
The Essar dry bulk terminal at Paradip Port surpassed past benchmarks to record 131 per cent growth in cargo handling.
In Gujarat, Essar Port at Hazira recorded a growth of 26 per cent, handling 5.48 mt of dry and unit cargo against 4.36 mt in QlFY-17. At Vadinar, the company recorded a decrease of one per cent, handling 10.38 mt of li-quicj cargo (10.49 mt).
At Paradip and Vizag, Essar Ports recorded an impressive performance of 131 per cent and 21 per cent in dry and unit cargo, said Rajiv Agarwal, CEO & MD.
Essar Ports’ current handling capacity of 140 mtpa is being expanded to 194 mtpa over the next few years. The company has five operational port terminals at Hazira, Vadinar, Paradip, Salaya and Visakhapatnam.
Since Vadinar port, deep-draft port with 58 mtpa of liquid cargo handling capacity, is a part of Essar Oil’s $12.9 bln deal with Rosneft-led consortium, once it goes off Essar Ports’ book, the company’s revenue will be reduced significantly.
However, the company is gearing up all resources to restore it.
“Vadinar is at the moment about 45 per cent of our total business, but as there are few more ports that will start in the second half of the year, new volumes will be added and we expect better growth in the coming quarters,” said Agarwal.
“We will go back to the same numbers in two years’ time,” he added.
According to Agarwal, capacity addition as well as focus on increasing the third-party cargo handling will be the main growth factors for the company this year.
Last fiscal, the company registered 60 per cent increase in third-party cargo volumes. “During this year, we will handle 15-17 mt of third party cargo,” Agarwal said.