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Krishnapatnam port eyes stake sale to fund larger ambition

Krishnapatnam port eyes stake sale to fund larger ambition

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Hyderabad: Krishnapatnam Port Co (KPCL), promoted by the Hyderabad-based infrastructure conglomerate CVR Group, plans to bring in a strategic investor as it looks to become the largest port-cum-coal-transhipment hub on India’s east coast.

“We are looking out for a strategic investor, and are holding talks with top Japanese companies like Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation, which are strongly into coal trading,” Chinta Sasidhar, managing director of KPCL, told Splash.

“We are planning to use the proceeds of the stake sale to double our port’s capacity from 70m tonnes per annum (tpa) to 140m tpa, at a cost of INR80bn ($1.27bn), even as we work towards increasing our cargo handling from 33m tonnes in fiscal 2014-15 to 50m tonnes in 2015-16.”

Phase-III of the port’s expansion would involve capital dredging to increase the draft from 18.5 m to 22 m, to allow the larger bulk carriers (referred to as Chinamax) of 380,000-400,000 dwt to come into the port. At the moment, the largest vessels that can be handled are of 200,000 dwt.

“Our plan is to turn KPCL into a transhipment hub for coal and iron ore handling on India’s east coast,” said Sasidhar.

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Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.

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