New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) Essar Ports today said its Rs 830 crore expansion plan to almost double the iron ore handling capacity to 23 million tonne per annum (MTPA) at Vizag port is nearing completion.Also Read - Highlights India vs New Zealand 3rd T20I Match : IND Win By 73 Runs, NZ Whitewashed 3-0

After completion of the project, the loading capacity will increase to 120,000 tonnes per day (TPD) from 70,000 TPD, the company said in a statement. Also Read - Highlights | India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I Match: IND Beat NZ By 7 Wickets, Clinch T20I Series

The facility will be able to berth vessels up to 200,000 DWT, with a draft of 18 metres, on the outer harbour, it said, adding that the upgraded terminal will have a loading rate of 8,000 TPH (tonnes per hour), which will be among the highest for an Indian port. Also Read - Highlights IND vs NZ 1st T20I Match: Suryakumar Yadav's Fifty & Rishabh Pant's Gutsy Knock Guide India Home

The “Rs 830-crore expansion plan to upgrade the iron ore handling capacity of the Vizag Terminal from 12.5 MTPA to 23 MTPA is nearing completion,” the company said.

EVTL’s Iron Ore Handling Terminal at Vizag Port is an all-weather deep draft facility that has the wherewithal to serve the markets of South East Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea.

The company took over the project in May 2015 on a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (DBFOT) basis for a period of 30 years. It, since then, has ramped up the iron ore loading capacity of the terminal from 25,000 TPD (tonnes per day) to 70,000 TPD.

Stressing that the company has taken care of environmental concerns, it said an increased focus on global best practices and sustainable environment protection has reduced spillage to a mere 0.18 per cent at the terminal.

EVTL is aiming to bring this number down to zero, which will result in lower emissions and a cleaner environment, it said.

A 9.3-km open conveyor has been covered, it said adding, all steps have been taken to minimise pollution.

Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director, Essar Ports, said, “The facility is one of a kind in India with a state-of-the- art mechanised system, and one of the highest loading rates (8,000 TPH). It has significant potential to increase our share of third-party cargo business to more than 40 per cent.

“As a result of the enhanced performance parameters, exporters on the east coast will benefit immensely from shorter turnaround times, which will translate into competitive freight costs.

The company aims to be the preferred choice of exporters in eastern India, said CH Satyanand, CEO, Essar Vizag Port, adding: We are determined to cut down spillage and emissions to virtually near-zero levels.

Essar Ports specialises in development and operations of ports and terminals for handling liquid, dry bulk, break bulk and general cargo and aims to increase its India capacity to 110 MTPA in 2017-18 from 82 MTPA at present.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.