APM Terminals Pipavav’s (Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd) board has approved its expansion plan of about Rs 700 crore, which includes improving facilities for handling bigger ships and raising the container capacity to 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
APM Terminals Pipavav currently has a capacity to handle up to 1.35 million TEUs of containers, 4-5 million tonnes of dry bulk cargo, 2 million tonnes of liquid cargo and about 250,000 cars per year.
“Our board has approved an expansion plan of approx Rs 700 crore in improving the port”s ability to handle bigger ships and eventually expanding the container capacity to 1.6 million TEUs,” APM Terminals Pipavav Managing Director Jakob Friis Sorensen said to the media.
“The port will wait for growth in cargo volume after commissioning of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) for deciding on expanding container yard capacity,” Sorensen said. “We await the confirmation of concession extension from Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) to execute our expansion plans.”
He said that minor ports have been able to maintain the momentum in cargo demand for the past few months owing to modern and improved infrastructure, digitisation and competitive tariffs, and added that the company was able to contain 15 per cent decline in overall volumes with an 8 per cent year-on-year growth in liquid volumes.
Sorensen, however, expressed hope that going forward, the implementation of DFC will improve connectivity of Gujarat ports to the main markets, resulting in increased cargo volumes. “APM Terminals Pipavav is going to be linked up with DFC which will increase the capacity in the Mumbai-Delhi development corridor,” he informed.
Sorensen said, recent initiatives by the government to reduce high logistics cost including strengthening inland waterways will result in boosting trade. “We are hopeful that the government will improve the road network in Saurashtra for further smooth connectivity to the hinterland.”
During lockdown, APM Terminals Pipavav handled more than 622 container trains, 186,000 TEUs, out of which 110,000 TEUs were by trains. The port also handled dry bulk shipments of 0.41 million metric tons and 0.21 million metric tonnes liquid in the June quarter of this fiscal.