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Adani Terminal at Kamarajar port idle for seven months

The Chennai trade which expected a fierce price war when the Adani terminal was commissioned seven months ago has been disappointed when hardly six vessels were handled at the terminal commissioned at a cost of nearly Rs eight hundred crores.

Ships are reluctant to call at the terminal since the vessel related charges are high at Kamarajar port (where the Adani terminal is situated) compared to the nearby Chennai Port sharing the same hinterland. In a bid to attract more containers Chennai port has given forty per cent rebate in vessel related charges over and above the 15 per cent cut in base tariff. With the result the difference in rates in berthing vessels between the two adjacent ports of Chennai and Kamarajar is around 25,000 US dollars (Rs 16 lakhs)

The Adani terminal at Kamarajar port Ennore which can handle 1.4 million twenty foot Teus sees virtually no activity since most shipping lines chose to give it a miss but call at both Chennai and Kattupalli ports where the tariffs are highly subsidized.

The Adani groupís efforts to seek similar concessions at Kamarajar port has not met with any success so far. Even the fifteen per cent promotional tariff the Kamarajar port is offering  is about to end soon. The Adani group has represented to the Shipping Ministry for a level playing field in tariff between Chennai and Kamarajar ports.

Chennai port which has two terminals and demand for cargo is never an issue. The Port is situated hardly thirty kilometers away from Kamarajar port at Ennore northern suburb of the city.

Adani group operates another container terminal at Katupalli port situated between Chennai and Kamarajar ports. Tha adanis are able to match Chennai portís tariffs. Ships call at this port without any problem. The container terminal at Katupalli is doing well since unlike Chennai the port has no evacuation issues.

Kamarajar port has been in the news for over a year for all wrong reasons. Though a corporate port different from other major ports, there was a move to privatize the port last year. The disinvestment committee headed by cabinet secretary has cleared the proposal.

Two former Shipping Ministers,T R Baalu and Mr G K Vasan have reprimanded the government for its move to privatize profit earning Kamarajar port. Since then the government has put the issue on backburner with Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari stating that government has no intention to privatize the port.


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