The birth of a coal berth – Coal Terminal Berth 4A, Haldia Dock Complex



S. Sarkar, Deputy General Manager (Projects), Bulk Material Handling Business Unit, Larsen & Toubro Limited, ECC Division, Chennai, India



In order to enhance the infrastructure facilities of Haldia port, Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) invited bids from reputed private entrepreneurs for construction, operation, management and maintenance of new facilities on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

A scheme had to be conceived to unload the coal from the ships, store it in a stockyard, and then load it on to the railway wagons for transportation to Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) steel plants, spread mostly in the eastern part of India. The cargo for the berth was guaranteed by SAIL.

An agreement was signed between Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and the promoter of the new berth, about the technical and commercial issues. A separate licensing agreement was signed on 14th of May 2002 between HDC and the promoter of the facilities, about the BOT terms. HDC allowed the private berth (the first of its kind in HDC) to be built, managed, operated and maintained on a land leased out by them, for a period of 30 years. The new berth was named Coal Terminal Berth 4A.

Operational scheme

The EPC contract for designing, supply, constructing and maintaining the Berth 4A facilities was entrusted with the Bulk Material Handling Business Unit of Larsen & Toubro Limited ECC Division, on the 25th of June, 2002.

The scope of work included construction of a jetty of 243.5 m x 18 m and the coal handling plant, including facilities including an administrative building, workshop, roads and drainage, a dust suppression and fire fighting system, in motion weigh bridge system, coal sampling system and a state of the art integrated and fully computerised management information system.

Due to a limited available draft of 10.5 m in the navigational channel of the Hooghly, Panamax and Handimax vessels must unload their top cargo (approx. 17,000 MT from Handimax and 31,000 MT from Panamax) at Vizag or Paradip ports, prior to reaching Berth 4A. As such, the project was conceived with the fact that the ship unloaders must ensure the guaranteed rate of unloading with their hatches half filled.

The Coal Terminal at Berth 4A project was conceived with the following basic operational scheme:

1. An average per day unloading rate of 14,000 MT of cargo using two ship unloaders of 700 MT/h free digging capacity

2. Storage of cargo at a stockpile of 200,000 MT capacity, using either of the two stacker reclaimers of 1,600 MT/h stacking and 1,250 MT/h reclaiming capacity

3. Per day loading of four railway rakes of 58 wagons each, using either of the two wagon loaders of 1,250 MT/h design and 1,000 MT/h average capacity

The above scheme was facilitated with a network of conveyor systems, with sufficient redundancy to take care of the simultaneous ship unloading and wagon loading operations.

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