Bangalore-based garment manufacturers will be able to export their produce to West Asia, especially Dubai, through the New Mangalore Port (NMP) instead of taking the circuitous route via ports on the eastern coast which increased costs, said NMP chairman P Tamilvanan.
The Container Corporation of India (Concor) agreed to bring container rakes to NMP regularly in association with the railways. The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), too, agreed to carve out this new trade route, he said, adding that a meeting with manufacturers and FKCCI is on the cards.
Outlining the performance of the port in 2011-12, Tamilvanan said: “Due to the loss of export of iron ore (after the government banned ore extraction and export), the port’s core sector traffic, particularly ore exports, came down by 22%, they are going to slide further down in coming years.
But coal traffic is looking up as many coal-based projects are coming up in the hinterland of the port.
The main users of NMP’s coal-handling facility are Jindal Industries in Bellary and Udupi Power Corporation in Padubidri.
“Initially, we were afraid that the increased coal traffic would lead to pollution, but due to ingenuity of our engineers who came up with a special sprinkler system, there is negligible pollution around the port. Coal could prove to be an alternative to iron ore, but volumes are not great right now.”
The port also became one of the top LPG handlers in the country.
It handled 20.75 lakh tonnes of LPG in 2011-12 against 19.17 lakh tonnes the previous fiscal. Overall, the port handled 32.94 tonnes of cargo, compared with 31.55 lakh tonnes, registering a 4.42 per cent growth, Tamilvanan said.
Container and cruise ship traffic also increased. The port handled 45,009 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2011-12 against 40,158 TEUs, registering a 12.08 per cent growth. It also handled 17 cruise ships and 10,000 cruise ship passengers, he said.