December 14, 2013
Feather on Bengal`s cap, Haldia bags International Cargo Hub
With the recent surge in the industrial sector in West Bengal, it appears that the state has suddenly become the pearl to the eyes of the investors. Thanks to the initiative of the West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal is being taken seriously as an investment destination by the industrial sector.
The state had already climbed to the 6th spot as per the amount of investments received from January 1, 2013 to October 31st, 2013, in a report published by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
Keeping up with the pace, eight investors, including leading port operator Adani Group, have evinced interest in mechanized handling of cargo at two Haldia port.
Adani, Concast, Universal Seaports, ISHPL, Orissa Stevedors, TMILL, Ripley and JM Buxi held a pre-bid meeting with the Calcutta Port Trust.
The development is being seen by port observers as the “beginning of a turnaround“ for the riverine Haldia port at a time it is struggling with reduced navigability because of siltation.
The port`s cargo movement has increased 6.52 per cent (between November 2012 and the same month this year).
Port officials said the final bid would be called on December 23 and the contract would be awarded by the end of January.
The company that gets the contract will set up mobile harbour cranes and handle bulk cargo such as coal and iron ore for 10 years.
Six companies have shown interest in developing an LPG hub around an idle oil jetty in Haldia.
Apart from top public sector firm BPCL, Aegis Logistic, KIS Oil, Ganesh Benzoplast, JVL Refinery and India Molasses have participated in a tender to bring 3 million tonnes of LPG to Haldia.
So far, IOC-Petronas is the only firm bringing LPG to Haldia. It brings in 1.4 million tonnes. With the partial deregulation of the sector and a steep demand in the eastern region, more players are joining the game.