zoom India’s second largest privately-owned port and terminal operator Essar Ports Limited (EPL) took over the Vizag iron ore outer harbor terminal from Vishakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) on May 14.EPL leased the terminal on a build-operate-transfer basis for a period of 30 years. Essar Vizag Terminals Limited (EVTL), a wholly owned subsidiary of EPL, will operate the two existing outer harbor berths and one additional inner harbor berth with a combined capacity of 23 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). The construction of the new berth and upgrades to the two existing berths will be carried out in two phases.The project will be developed at a cost of Rs 1,200 crore (USD 190 million) over a period of three years and will cover the upgradation of Outer Harbor Berths (OB I & II) in Phase I and mechanization of inner harbor berth (WQ-I) in Phase II. With the takeover of the outer berths, the operation and upgradation of the terminal will be carried out simultaneously.”The facility is well placed to cater to both the domestic and international steel industry,’‘ Rajiv Agarwal, CEO and Managing Director, Essar Ports, said.”It will serve major iron ore consuming countries like China, Japan and Korea in addition to coastal movement within India. The facility has dedicated rail connectivity to India’s iron ore mining belt. This, along with the mechanized CQ III facility in Paradip port, will take Essar Port’s total east coast iron ore handling capacity to 39 MTPA.”EVTL has taken over the ore handling complex of the VPT by paying an upfront payment of Rs 185 crore. In addition, EVTL will also pay a revenue share to VPT. VPT had handled close to 14 MT of iron ore during FY 14, the highest by any port in the country.