Chennai, Apr 7 (PTI) Chennai Port Trust has recorded a marginal increase in the cargo volume handled by it during the financial year 2017-18 to 51.88 million metric tonnes from 50.21 million metric tonne during the previous fiscal, a top official said here today.

The increase in the cargo was against a sluggish growth in global trade, Chennai Port Trust, Chairman, P Ravindran said.

“It is a matter of pride for us that despite sluggish growth in trade, the cargo handled during financial year 2017-18 was 51.88 million metric tonne, as against 50.21 million metric tonne handled during the last financial year 2016-17”, he told reporters.

Of the total cargo, container traffic accounted for 30 million tonne, petroleum products 13.5 million metric tonne.

Net profits of the Chennai Port Trust for the financial year 2017-18 stood at Rs 32 crore a compared to Rs 13 crore registered during same period of last year.

Operational performance of Chennai Port Trust for FY 2017-18 was at Rs 225.49 crore, as against Rs 217.20 crore, on account of exercising tight control on operational expenditures.

Chennai Port Trust also handled 15,49,457 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) in financial year 2017-18 as against 14,94,831 TEUs handled in same period of last year.

The Port also witnessed significant records in handling of cargo like gypsum, raw sugar, barytes during last financial year, he said.

Detailing some of the initiatives taken by the Port Trust for the current financial year 2018-19, he said, it has been proposed to construct a Bunker Berth at Rs 44 crore and the Letter of Award has already been awarded.

“Chennai Port is also setting up Multi Modal Logistics Park at Jolarpet”, he said, adding a consultant has been appointed for preparation of a detailed project report (DPR).

To a query, he said the logistics park would serve Salem, Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Chittoor traders.

“A land at Mappedu SIPCOT (near Thiruvallur) is being considered for serving as a maritime cluster since it has potential for steel, petrochemicals, electronics and ship building industry”, he said.

The facility is expected to attract business by generate employment in the region, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.