The Standing Finance Committee of Ministry of Shipping has cleared a project for setting up an exclusive, fully mechanised handling facility for fertiliser cargo at Kandla Port. The facility will be developed at berth number 14 of the port, which is being constructed at an approximate cost of Rs.138 crore. The port will further invest approximately Rs.340 crore for the project from its internal resources. Initially, the proposed facility will handle 2.60 MMTPA and subsequently this will be raised to 4.50 MMTPA..
Ministry of Shipping in a statement has said, in the proposed project all activities, right from unloading of bulk fertiliser cargo from the ships to loading of the bagged fertiliser onto the wagons will be fully mechanised. The fertiliser cargo will be unloaded using Mobile Harbour Cranes onto Mobile Hoppers. The conveyor system, along with the tipper system, will transfer the cargo to the cargo storage shed of 38,500 m2. The storage shed will be equipped with 40 sets of bagging and stitching units which will feed the bagged cargo directly into wagons to reduce labour, movement and will optimise time and as such the logistic cost will come down.
According to the Ministry, at present, the handling of fertiliser cargo at the Port involves multiple movements and agencies. The mechanised facility will reduce the same and ensure faster delivery of the cargo to the end users. It will be beneficial to the farmers in terms of cost and faster delivery. For the fertiliser importers, the benefits of the proposed facility will be efficient operation due to end to end mechanisation, no contamination of fertiliser cargo due to dedicated mechanisation and closed PEB shed, no internal vehicular movement for transfer of cargo, less number of labour required due to mechanisation and no multiple handling, one time transfer through equipment and conveyor among various other activities.
The tendering work for the project is in progress. The facility is expected to be commissioned by October, 2020.