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The cargo handling capacity of Indian ports crossed 1 billion tonnes on Friday with three terminals having a total capacity of 15 million metric tonnes per annum going on stream at the Ennore Port near Chennai. The three terminals for coal, iron ore and car shipment were jointly dedicated to the nation by shipping minister G K Vasan and textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran on Friday. The government holds a 68% stake in the Ennore Port and the rest by the Chennai Port Trust. Vasan noted that Ennore Port first conceived as a coal handling port is now a all-cargo port having the potential to become a hub port on the eastern coast.

The coal and iron ore terminals have been developed through private sector participation on build-operate and transfer (BOT) basis, while the Ennore Port Trust invested Rs 110 crore for putting up the car terminal.

The coal terminal, which has a capacity of 8 million tonnes per annum, has been developed by Chettinad International Coal Terminal Private Ltd with an investment of Rs 399.13 crore. Sical Iron Ore Terminal Ltd developed the iron ore terminal that has a capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum has been at an investment of Rs 360 crore. Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) has invested Rs 110 crore for putting up the car terminal.

Japan's consul general in Chennai, Kazuo Minagawa, said Ennore Port would be a major export hub for Nissan, Toyota and Toshiba in south India. He expressed confidence that in the next 15 years the port would emerge as India's leading port surpassing Kandla Port in Gujarat as well as Mumbai and Chennai ports.

Read more: Indian ports' capacity crosses 1 billion tonnes - The Times of India


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