04-08-2017

India: APSEZ set to become top container port operator

APSEZ

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) is on course to overtake Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust as India’s biggest container port in the fiscal year ending March.

Mundra Port located in Gujarat and the flagship port of APSEZ, is already India’s biggest port by volumes handled. It was the first Indian port to handle 100 million tonnes (mt) or more of cargo in a year, a feat it achieved in FY14.

In fact, Mundra has already surpassed JNPT as India’s biggest container port by installed capacity.

Market share

APSEZ which operates 10 ports on the country’s eastern and western coasts ended FY17 with a container throughput of 4.24 million twenty-foot equivalent units or TEUs, crossing the 4 million TEU-mark for the first time on the back of a robust 27 per cent year-on-year growth in container volumes. It helped APSEZ raise its market share in container handling to 31 per cent. from 27 per cent on an all-India level.

In FY17, containers accounted for 37 per cent of APSEZ’s total cargo, compared to 32 per cent in FY16.

In comparison, JNPT handled 4.5 million TEUs with a flattish growth in FY17.

Karan Adani, APSEZ’s CEO and the elder son of its billionaire-promoter Gautam Adani, has bigger plans for the port.

“Our container volumes are expected to grow 20 per cent and overall cargo volumes between 12 and 14 per cent in FY18,” Karan said. If that becomes a reality, APSEZ would end FY18 with over 5 million TEUs. “We expect our EBITDA margins to increase from 69 % to 70/72 % in the next three years through enhanced use of technology, diversified cargo mix and higher capacity utilization”. India’s ports handled 1,138 mt of cargo in 2016-17, of which the ports run by APSEZ loaded 168.72 mt or about 15 per cent of India’s total port volumes, whereas the 12 ports owned by the Central government handled 647.63 mt.

Mundra port’s feat

Mundra ended FY17 with 113.72 mt, continuing its run as India’s biggest commercial port for the fourth year in a row. It handled 3.48 million TEUs.

 

Karan is focussing on boosting container volumes, handle high value cargo, liquids, LNG and LPG in some of these ten ports/facilities as part of a de-risking strategy. These ten ports comprise 45 berths with a cargo handling capacity of 335 mmt.

“In line with our goal to reduce dependence on individual commodities and to offset the decline in coal imports following the government’s revised policy, we ramped-up efforts to diversify our cargo mix and increase in container volumes.

The growth was made possible by the commissioning of CT-4 at Mundra, higher container volumes at Kattupalli and Hazira ports, and the addition of services at Mundra, Hazira and Kattupalli, which resulted from our strategic partnerships with global lines such as MSC, CMA CGM, and Maersk,” Karan said.

The extension of CT-3 at Mundra will also be completed in FY18. The deep-water port at Vizhinjam in Kerala is expected to start operations in 2019 as a “competitive global container transhipment hub”, targeting the 2 million TEUs plus of Indian containers transshipped annually through the Indian Ocean.

APSEZ has also started coastal shipment from its Dhamra port to the southern ports.

Kattupalli port

Formalities for the acquisition of Kattupalli port near Chennai from L&T Shipbuilding Ltd, is in the final stages. APSEZ has paid Rs. 1,450 crore till March 2017 for the acquisition which will be completed in H1 of FY18.

The firm achieved over 500% growth as the official operator of Kattupalli, with container volumes rising from 7,900 TEUs a month in November 2015 to over 35,000 TEUs per month in FY17.

APSEZ plans to transform Kattupalli into a multi-commodity port, Karan added.

Source: The Hindu Business Line 

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