The Standing Finance Committee of the Ministry of Shipping has cleared a project for setting up an exclusive, fully mechanised handling facility for fertiliser cargo at Deendayal Port in Kandla. 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 increased to 4.50 MMTPA.
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 logistics cost will come down.
At present, the handling of fertiliser cargo at Deendayal 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
- Mechanised Dust Suppression to avoid dust
- Lower rake turnaround time
- Lower vessel turnaround time
- Lower logistics cost
The tendering work for the project is in progress. The facility is expected to be commissioned by October 2020.