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Kolkata Port Handles First Cape Size Vessel Via Transloading

The port invested Rs 170 crore for transloading infrastructure which can carry out literage activities at Sagar Island and Sandheads from large vessels that cannot enter the riverine port directly.

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For the first time, Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (formerly Kolkata Port Trust) on Tuesday handled full-size cape vessel, a large-sized bulk carrier, carrying dry cargo for Nepal, an official said.

The Panama flag vessel 'MV LAKE D' with a carrying capacity of 1.6 lakh tonne of cargo is now anchored at Sagar Island, some 40 kilometres from the Haldia river port, an arm of the SMP Kolkata. In 2018, it handled a half-cape size vessel at Sandheads.

The port invested Rs 170 crore for transloading infrastructure which can carry out literage activities at Sagar Island and Sandheads from large vessels that cannot enter the riverine port directly.

The port official said that the vessel will offload 66,000 of steam coal meant for Nepal and will be transhipped through barges to Haldia docks. The vessel had arrived at Sagar after unloading 95,800 tonne of cargo at Vizag Port.

The entire cargo unloading started with two floating cranes and transported through barges and subsequently handled at the Haldia Floating Terminal (HFTPL), outside the lock gate.

'SMP Kolkata is having the constraint of draft in the channel and lock gate operation in the docks. By doing lighterage operation with this vessel which has a very wide beam and can carry higher parcel load in a draft of 9.2 metre, we have overcome the constraint of draft to a great extent,' port Chairman Vinit Kumar said.

He said that this shipment is equal to 2-3 ships that the port handles. The global trade is shifting to large cape size vessels for the economy of scale.

SMP Kolkata is continuously upscaling its infrastructure to handle such challenges, he said.

(PTI)