ABG Haldia Bulk Terminals Private Ltd is to start operations at Haldia dock shortly.
ABG Haldia Bulk Terminals Private Ltd, the joint venture between ABG Ports Pvt Ltd and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, SAS, France, is to start operations at Haldia dock shortly, according to informed sources. The negotiations with contractors to be responsible for supplying labour for the operation of the dock's two berths, 2 and 8, acquired on long-term lease by the joint venture company, are believed to have reached an advanced stage.
Haldia dock authorities too, it is understood, have made up their mind on the tariff to be charged from the users of the berths.
The cranes and pay-loaders are already in place and 50 dumpers, now at Kharagpur, will arrive soon, it is learnt.
Each berth will need around 200 people for undertaking various operations and these people will be supplied by private contractors. Also, the issue of minimum wage has to be settled.
The contractors, generally, it is complained, would often pay much less than the stipulated minimum wages. This must not happen in these two berths, the workers have emphasised. This means, the employers have to cough up higher wages.
As for the tariff, the Board of Trustees of Kolkata Port Trust has decided on a rate of Rs 210 a tonne to be charged from the users and sent the proposal to TAMP which is yet to firm up its view on the subject. The dock authorities, it is learnt, can charge the proposed rate on an ad hoc basis till such time the TAMP's approval is available.
Out of the proposed tariff, KoPT is supposed to pay the joint venture company at the rate of Rs 75 a tonne with the stipulated minimum throughput of 20,000 tonnes per berth.
However, as the Haldia dock sources indicate, KoPT might have to pay finally around Rs 100 a tonne to the joint venture company which, it is felt, may be required to undertake certain jobs not contained in the agreement. For example, the transportation of the cargo may have to be undertaken beyond the dedicated area.
The joint venture company will not charge anything from the users.
Berths 2 and 8 of Haldia dock mainly handle bulk items such as imported coking coal and iron ore exports.
The major users are steel plants such as SAIL and Tata Steel which may not be averse to paying the dock authorities at the proposed rate. If the output of the berth improves, the ships will be released early and to that extent, they stand to gain.