August , 2016
00:00 am

B.E. Bureau

  • Q. The costs of the Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) are rising and the number of ships is falling. In this situation, what is the future projection of HDC? 
    A. We decided to engage a consultant about what will be the cargo projection of capacity of the HDC in 2025. So as per the AECOM- Mckinsey report, there is a possibility of 53 MT cargo projection by 2025. It is true that we are burdened with huge fixed cost. For example, there is a burden of pension expenditure of about 30,000 CPT ex-employees. But sources of earnings are limited to cargo and ships and allotted land. In spite of that the future is not bad. Our important plans for increasing productivity and enhancing capacity of HDC are one, mechanization of berth No. 3 inside the dock. Two, setting up port facilities at Shalukkhali, which is Haldia Dock II, where one oil jetty (.43 MTPA) and three dry bulk berths (15 MTPA) can be added. Three, even a second lock with additional arm inside the present dock can be thought of.


    The actual projection of cargo by 2020 is 42.2 MT and capacity 42.29 MT. But by 2025, those have been projected to be increased to 53.70 MT and 53.50 MT, respectively.

  • Q. It is known that the union government has been in favour of withdrawal of dredging. In such case, how will you maintain draft? Or, how will you maintain expenditure of dredging?
    A. What the union government is saying is to lower the cost of dredging. For this, we are lowering the use of Auckland channel of HDC and the dredging expenditure will be low there. But the use of the Jellingham channel is to be increased and the ships will be brought in through the Eden channel. The dredging spending will mainly be concentrated in that channel without affecting loading and unloading services of the port. We expect this will reduce our dredging cost, leaving the services as usual.


    What we spend on dredging, the union government reimburses and the same situation is going on. The government is only talking of decreasing the dredging expenditure and we are trying to optimize the expenditure through the method that I just told you.

  • Q. What is the present status of the Sagar island project? 
    A. See, the union government is saying that there is no problem with this project. But one has to confirm before- hand the connectivity of the port with the land either through road or rail. Unless it is done, I think, there is not a very bright possibility of the Sagar port coming up.
  • Q. What is the present status of trans-loading in the HDC?
    A. It is going to start shortly; we expect after the monsoon. A large number of ships will not go to Paradip or Dhamra port. The ships will come at the full draft of 18 or 20 metres. Then about 60% of the materials will be trans-loaded to smaller cargos and the mother vessels will reach Haldia with 40% materials. The smaller vessels will go to the other destinations where the bulk coal importers like Tata Steel or SAIL would like to operate.
    The volume of trans-loading may be about 3 MT per annum to start with. But in future, it may be about 6 MT.
  • Q. What about liquid trans-loading?
    A. We are planning to bring two moorings. The government will give subsidy for that. We are planning to talk to the IOL for making this plan successful. We are also likely to talk of Haldia Petrochemicals as it is planning to make naphtha in Haldia. There will be two moorings, 500 metres apart. The liquid cargos will come up to 30 metres draft. From there, smaller ships will be loaded through pipe lines.
  • Q. Will this plan be easily successful?
    A. See, if companies like IOL agree to import at Haldia, we may lease land of say, 50 acres here, then its cost of import will be less. Then why will it not be successful?
  • Q. How will HDC decrease the cost of loading and unloading, as it is said to be higher than many other ports and minor ports?
    A. Actually, the port cost is smaller. As of now, the demand for ships is low. So demurrages are not considered high. It will be higher in normal times and then that will count as a big cost. When a cape size ship will come near Haldia at about 30 metres draft and that will be trans-loaded to smaller ships, the cost will automatically be lower by, say, $1 per MT. But that item will add extra $ 4/5 per MT if that is taken from Paradip by rail compared to, say, Haldia. So $5 per MT cost saving is not a small thing. The bulk importers of the hinterland of HDC must be benefited by this system.
    So one has to consider the entire logistics support as a whole and not as port charges in isolation. The importer can save about $ 8-10 per MT.
  • Q. Do you have any policy to lower the turnaround time (TAT)?
    A. We have some constraints. Our ship movements depend on tidal movement, it is a natural phenomenon. The ships have to wait for hours for the tidal movements to pass on. We also have a constraint of lock gate. So if more than three or four ships come, they have to wait for berthing. For sea ports, a ship can enter easily and leave the port easily. The main thing is to do everything with higher productivity and draft is not the main constraint.

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