Essar Ports to expand capacity to 160 MT by 2014

Port major Essar Ports plans to increase the capacity to 160 million tonnes by 2014
Financial ReportEssar Ports Limited (EPL), part of the Essar Group, has announced 73 per cent rise in net profit at Rs. 68.5 crore for the first quarter ended June 30.
During the quarter, Essar Ports’ revenue increased by 18 per cent to Rs. 330.3 crore from Rs. 278.5 crore in Q1FY12, EBITDA increased by 23 per cent to  Rs. 271.3 crore from  Rs. 220.3 crore in Q1FY12. According to statement released by the company, “Revenue from 3rd party customers contributed around 4 per cent to the total revenue of the company during the quarter. The company’s debt has been reduced by Rs. 165 crore during the quarter.”
Speaking on these results, Rajiv Agarwal, CEO & Managing Director, Essar Ports said, “87 per cent of our committed capital expenditure has been completed and we expect the projects to be completed in phases by 2014. In line with the commissioning of the expansion projects, our earning and profitability will continue to grow.”
Essar Ports handled 12.65 million ton of cargo during the first quarter compared to 11.20 million tonne in Q1FY12 registering an increase of 13 per cent. It’s Hazira port handled 3.58 million ton of cargo during Q1FY13 compared to 2.79 million tonne in Q1FY12 registering an increase of 28 per cent whereas Vadinar port handled 9.07 million ton of cargo during Q1FY13 compared to 8.41 million ton in Q1FY12 registering an increase of 8 per cent.
Upcoming ProjectParadip Coal berth, the upcoming project of the company, recently received the final forest clearance from Ministry of Environment & Forest; construction is expected to commence shortly and completed in 24 months. According to Mr. Agarwal, “Construction work for the iron ore terminal at Paradip is progressing well with 94 per cent of project already completed and terminal is expected to be commissioned in 2nd quarter of current financial year.” 
The Paradip project is being developed to be able to handle around 16 million tonnes capacity; however, Essar Ports expects to reach to the full capacity in 3 years time initially starting with 3 – 4 million tonnes. 
Slowdown Impact“As far as general slowdown in the economy is concerned, it is there but as far as we are concerned it has not affected us,” informed KK Sinha, CEO & Director of Essar Ports. “At Essar Oil, the final capacity has ramped up therefore the port utilisation has also gone up.”
“Though the steel plant production has not been able to pick up and the traffic at company’s Hazira Port has not been as expected; we have been able to protect our revenue as our agreement with everybody is in rupee terms. Our cost, equity, loans are all in rupee terms; therefore these remain unaffected,” informed Mr. Sinha.

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