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Adani makes debut in Bengal with Haldia Dock project, eyes Tajpur Port too

Adani makes debut in Bengal with Haldia Dock project, eyes Tajpur Port too

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited on Thursday took control of a berth at the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), making an official entry into the maritime sector in the state.

Image source: Adaniports.com Image source: Adaniports.com

India’s largest private port operator Adani group is all set to make a foray into West Bengal. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) on Thursday took control of a berth at the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC), making an official entry into the maritime sector in the state.

Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (formerly Kolkata Port Trust) which runs the Haldia Dock Complex on Thursday officially handed over the letter of award (LoA) to Gautam Adani controlled Adani Ports (APSEZ) for mechanisation and upgradation of Berth No. 2 at HDC. The project will see an estimated investment of 298.25 crore and likely to be operational by 2024-25.

Adani Port has bagged the project by quoting a royalty share of Rs 75 per metric ton to the Calcutta Port. Once operational, the new state-of-the-art berth will have a capacity of handling 3.744 million metric ton of dry cargo annually.

The mechanised handling facility will involve unloading from ships via rail mounted Mobile Harbour Crane, conveying by conveyor system, stackers, reclaimer and loading into wagons by rapid wagon loading system with SILO. It will ensure speedy loading of dry bulk cargo into wagons through end-to-end fully mechanised solution while drastically reducing the wagon loading time, thereby leading to higher productivity.

Once functional, the new improved mechanised berth will be able to complete loading of a full rake within 2 hours, saving about 3 hours per rake. “The integrated end-to-end solution shall be a benefit to the trade and reduce the overall logistics cost,” said Vinit Kumar, Chairman of Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port.

In Kolkata to take charge of the project APSEZ CEO Karan Adani also met Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat on Thursday. This is the second high level meeting between the Adanis and GoWB. Earlier, industrialist Gautam Adani had met Banerjee in Kolkata last December.

Of late, the West Bengal government has been wooing the Adanis to invest in the state ahead of the Bengal Global Business Summit due for April this year. The Adani Group does not have a large footprint in Bengal till now except for an edible oil plant—Adani Wilmar at Haldia.

As per sources, Thursday’s meeting is crucial as the Adanis are considered a frontrunner for Mamata Banerjee government’s ambitious Tajpur greenfield sea port with last date of submission of bids extended till February 15. Located in East Midnapore, the proposed project is estimated to draw investments worth Rs 15,000 crore. Another key investment opportunity is the Deocha-Pachami coal mining project in Birbhum, Asia’s largest coal block which the state government is keen to develop, sources say.