Monday 20 May 2024

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Infrastructure | Ports

MPT countering Japanese monopoly


The Mormugao Port Trust is trying hard to counter Japanese monopoly over Goa's iron ore exports, by diverting its exports to other countries and also bargaining for a price hike.

The immediate target has been China. In last one year, the port authorities have consciously attracted Chinese importers towards Goans iron ore. Since 1996-97, exports to China have been gradually increasing from 1.65 million tonnes to 3.66 million tonnes, a rise of around eight per cent.

The Japanese exports have also increased from 8.50 MT to 9.59 MT, but its share has reduced by seven per cent. It has come down from 58 per cent to 51 per cent.

"We are trying to kill two birds in one stone. Our efforts are directed towards minimising Japanese monopoly, so that they do not dictate terms here. Secondly, we are also bargaining for a better price by indicating that we have a market elsewhere", says Dr Jose Paul, the MPT chairman.

The other importers are comparatively smaller in quantity, somewhere between 0.20 MT to 2 MT, where its share has either reduced or increased marginally. They include South Korea, Rumania, Italy, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Pakistan and few other countries.

Realising that the Goa's mineral reserves would not last for long, Dr Paul has also prepared a plan to shift its character to multi-commodity port, in a phased manner. His efforts have achieved fruits with its immediate export operation of 50,000 tonnes of sugar beginning next month. The container traffic of Mangalore is also likely to be diverted to Goa.

Dr Paul is also hopeful that the Rs 6000-crore Jindal Vijaynagar Steel project, coming up at Bellary, would import coal and other steel products through the MPT, boosting its imports by 1.5 million tonnes, since there now exists a direct railway linkage between Goa and Bellary.

There are also plans to reclaim around 700 acres of land to expand the port area to double, besides dredging shallow waters, developing additional modern port facilities and wagon unloading facilities, setting up storage and handling facilities for liquid cargo and providing harbour mobile cranes.

Meanwhile, the MPT has created all-time record in terms of cargo traffic handling and iron ore exports, by handling 21.88 million tonnes of cargo traffic in 1997-98 in comparison to 18.88 million tonnes of the previous year.

The century old port of Goa has also achieved a new record in its specialised utility by exporting 18.70 million tonnes of iron ore, which amount to 48 per cent of country's iron ore exports today.

The MPT also achieved a surplus of Rs 31 crore, recording a rise of 45 per cent while the rise in net surplus is almost 64 per cent. However, due to irritating power supply, the exports got affected to the tune of around Rs 80 crore while also reducing its profits by Rs seven crore.

They are now expecting the power situation to stabilise from October onwards, once they start getting quality power from Goa's first mini private power project of Reliance-Salgaocar Pvt Ltd, which would lay a direct line from its Verna power station to Vasco harbour.

The port authority has now made a strong plea before the national tariff authority, demanding a rise of 54.26 per cent hike in the tariff rates, since the rates are static for last five years. "It is necessary to provide better facilities and modernise the port further", says Dr Paul. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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