Date: 02/04/2024

Paradip Port registers 145.38 MMT to become the top cargo handling Major Port in 2023-24 

The sum of many specific highs

Paradip Port Authority (PPP) has attained new heights with its record-breaking achievement of clocking an incredible 145.38 million metric tonnes (MMT) of cargo throughput in 2023-24, thereby emerging as the highest cargo handling Major Port of the country. For the first time in its 56-year history, PPA surpassed the previous records, set by Deendayal Port. It also recorded growth of 10.02 MMT (7.4%) of traffic on YoY basis. 
During the financial year, the port achieved its highest ever coastal shipping traffic of 59.19 million metric tonnes, with a growth of 0.76 MMT i.e. 1.30% over the previous year.  
Thermal coal coastal shipping reached 43.97 MMT, up 4.02%. Paradip Port is thus emerging as a hub for coastal shipping in the country, it emphasised in a communique. 
Paradip Port has been able to improve its berth productivity to 33,014 MT from 31,050 MT the previous financial year, thus registering 6.33% growth. This was the highest among all the ports of the country. 
During the financial year, the port handled 21,665 rakes, registering a growth of 7.65% over the previous fiscal.
It handled 2,710 ships, an increase of 13.82%. 
The surge in cargo handling was driven by various system improvement measures undertaken by the port during the financial year: 
* Improved system of operation at mechanised coal hand plant to reduce idle time between rake unloading resulted in highest handling of thermal coal at MCHP i.e. 27.12 million metric tonnes. 
* The northern dock of the port has been declared for handling 16 meters draught Cape vessels. 
* Simultaneous handling of 1 Cape and 1 Panamax at coal handling berths, which was not being done during the previous year. 
Paradip Port has frozen its tariff for cargo handling at the level of 2022 for the next 3 years as a part of its business development initiatives. It is the cheapest in terms of tariff among all the ports in the country, as per the release.
Provisional financial results 
* Operating revenue has crossed Rs 2,300 crore against Rs 2,074 crore in the previous fiscal, an increase of 14.30%.
* Operating surplus has crossed Rs 1,510 crore, against Rs 1,300 crore, up 16.44%.
* Net surplus before tax has crossed Rs 1,570 crore, compared to Rs 1,296 crore, a growth of 21.26 %.
* Net surplus after tax has also crossed Rs 1,020 crore, as against Rs 850 crore, a 20% increase.
* Operating ratio improved to 36% against 37% the previous year.
Aiming higher
Paradip Port, with 289 million metric tonnes rated capacity as on date, is poised to cross the 300 million metric tonnes capacity mark in another 3 years with the commissioning of the Western Dock project. Work on the project, with 25 million metric tonnes capacity, is on in full swing by the PPP operator M/s J.P.P.L. The project will also increase the draught of the port, enabling it to handle fully laden Cape vessels by 2026. 
The port, which has mechanised 80% of the berths as on date, plans to become 100% mechanised by 2030 with the mechanisation of the existing  4 semi-mechanised berths. 
The port also plans to add another 4 berths, for which requisite approval will be taken during the current financial year.
It intends improving connectivity by commissioning two road flyovers within its premises at a cost of Rs 150 crore, to avoid surface crossing of rail and road traffic. This will enable the port to handle road traffic seamlessly. 
As a part of its port-led industrialisation initiatives, the port has allotted 769 acres of land to various industries, which will bring in more than Rs 8,700 crore of investment and thus attract 50 million metric tonnes of traffic. 
As part of its green initiatives, the port planted 2 lakh saplings during the year. It is expected to reach 1 million in tree plantation by 2025. 
The port also plans to develop a 10 MW solar power plant for its operations, totally by renewable energy. Besides, it intends having a green refuelling station by setting up LNG and CNG depots at the port.  
Also planned is an exclusive berth for handling green ammonia/green hydrogen, thereby becoming the hydrogen hub port of the country. 
The port is developing an ultramodern signal station with the latest vessel traffic management information system in association with IIT, Chennai. This will improve the vessel management and marine operations substantially, apart from improving the security. 
Mr P. L. Haranadh, Chairman of PPA, congratulated the entire team, comprising exporters & importers who patronise the port, officers, staff unions, PPP operators, stevedores, shipping agents etc. whose combined effort resulted in this stupendous achievement. 
Paradip Port thus stands tall as a shining star in the Indian maritime domain, earning accolades and setting unprecedented records that underscore its unwavering commitment to excellence, the release emphasised. 
Source: Exim News Service: Paradip, April 1