Krishnapatnam Port, the coal hub of India



Krishnapatnam Port, India


Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd (KPCL) is a new generation world-class port with outstanding services, facilities and state-of-art infrastructure. It is situated on the east coast of India, 180 kilometres north of Chennai city in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. Its strategic location makes it a port of choice for international cargo originating from and destined for southern and central India.

This first private green field all-weather deep-sea port with round-the-clock operations currently has 10 operational berths and a deep draft of 18 metres alongside the berths – the deepest offered by any port in India. The port also provides the fastest turnaround time for all types of vessels which is made possible by its 13 shore cranes with a discharge capacity of 750 to 1,000 measurement tonnes (MT) per hour per crane. Its single window clearance system provides end-to-end services from stevedoring to custom documentation enabling it to optimally use its massive back up area of 6,500 acres, which houses dedicated coal storage plots that are well connected with dedicated coal sidings.

The throughput of the port includes coking coal, met coke, pet coke and steam coal. Its integrated real time control of cargo handling through automatic vehicle location system (AVLS) and enterprise port management system (EPMS) enables it to also handle all types of cargo as well as coal, making the port a class apart on the Indian east coast. Krishnapatnam port has the ability to handle general/container, dry-bulk like barytes, coking coal, edible oil, fertilisers, granite, gypsum, iron ore, met coke, palm kernel, pet coke, quartz, raw sugar, rock phosphate, steam coal, oversize and over dimensional cargo and agri-cargo like maize and rice.

Krishnapatnam Port has always strived to offer world-class services and facilities. In a short span it has not only matched the standards of the Indian maritime industry but has created a mark that is uniquely different from the rest of the ports in India.

Massive investments

In the past year, a massive financial investment has allowed huge capacity to be added to the port. Two new berths have been added, the draft increased from 16.5 metres to 18 metres, and an addition of 375 acres of yard. New railway infrastructure has been developed, bringing 13 loading/unloading lines and a further 40 kilometres of track length and the electrification of 10 kilometres of lines. New roads have also been constructed inside the port. In order to boost efficiency, four new ship unloaders and four new Keppel Fel cranes have been installed. Five new super post-panamax quay cranes and two mobile harbour cranes have been also been added. Four new bagging machines for fertiliser have been introduced, bringing the total to 20 machines, with a capacity of 42,000 MT automatic bagging a day.

A new agri-commodity warehouse was commissioned taking the total to 12 covered storage areas. An efficient warehouse management system has been implemented to aid the smooth functioning of warehouse-related activities. A direct pipeline from berth to all eight edible oil refineries outside of the port has been provided. Dedicated storage facilities are provided to customers as well as bonding and de-bonding facilities set-up as required. Mechanisation of fertiliser handling is available, a hopper system for agri-cargo now increases the load rate from 5,000 MT to 10,000 MT per day of load rates and electrical power connection to main substation (132/33KV). This means that the port can now handle 50 million tonnes of cargo.

Record breaking achievements

Though the port is in its initial years of operation, it is already setting various benchmarks. Within the last year, the port has made many achievements. Its highest discharge rate of met coke was 14,029 MT in 24 hours and it recently loaded 3,960.38 MTs of steam coal by conventional method in 59 wagons in just 30 minutes creating an internal record in operational management. KPCL set a new record by looking after the largest parcel size of bulk cargo handled by any port in India when cape vessel ‘MV. Wisdom of The Sea 1’ berthed in November 2011 carrying 166,060 MTs of non-coking coal.

The port achieved an impressive feat by unloading 90 containers in just 9 minutes in November 2011. The total time taken from the arrival to the departure of the rake was only 27 minutes. In January 2012, an internal record was made by loading 3,960.38 MTs of steam coal in 59 wagons in just 30 minutes. KPCL discharged a record 559 MT per hour of crude sunflower oil. A total of 6,983.069 MT was discharged in just 12 hours and 30 minutes. In April 2012 KPCL created an internal record by loading 8,518.19 MTs of granite within 24 hours. The port also set a world record for discharging 122,247 MTs of steam coal from in just 24 hours using the conventional unloading system in the form of advanced mobile harbour cranes. Krishnapatnam Port created a port railway record by handling 323 rakes in August 2012 with the total of coal rakes handled in August being the highest at 248 and the total cargo handled is the highest at 1.12 million tonnes in a month. Export of wheat has also started with the first vessel loading with a quantity of 28,345 MT. Krishnapatnam Port container terminal also received its first ever dedicated feeder service from The Bengal Tiger Line’s stable in September 2012.


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