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Chennai Port takes lead in wooing Kia Motors

Saturday, 30 June 2018 | 00:00

Competition is getting intense among the ports of Chennai, Kamarajar and Katupalli (both at Ennore) and Krishnapatnam (in Andhra Pradesh) to woo South Korean auto major Kia Motors, which is setting up greenfield project at Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh. The ports are eyeing both import of machinery for the plant and also exports of car once the plant is commissioned.

All the four ports have built strong infrastructure to handle automobile cargo and are willing to offer various incentives to woo Kia Motors, sources said. The Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) having South Korean major Hyundai as its major client could have an edge, they added.

Slew of offerings

The ChPT has already committed to offer a slew of offerings. This includes berth to be made available for ships carrying Kia cargo on priority and concession in areas such as storage and berth hire charges. “We had an initial round of talks with officials of Kia Motors. We have committed all help from our side,” ChPT Chairman P Raveendran recently told BusinessLine.

“Competition is intense from neighbouring ports of Kamarajar, Katupalli and Krishnapatnam. We will give concession depending upon the volume they commit,” he admitted.

Concrete fenced storage yard close to the berth is an essential infrastructure. The port is creating an additional concrete storage yard of about 70,000 sq m to park cars, he said. There will be provision for washing, pre-delivery inspection and security.

Kia will be importing huge equipment in the form of Over Dimensional Cargo and machinery in containers, he said.

Anantapur plant

The South Korean major plans to invest nearly $1.1 billion in the Anantapur plant. The first phase of the plant will begin commercial production next year-end. Once fully operational, the new 23 million sq ft plant will provide approximately 3,000 jobs and produce 300,000 cars (both compact sedan and compact SUV) annually.

Sources said that the company has already started bringing container through Adani group’s Katupalli port, which has a dedicated car parking yard, pre-delivery inspection, car wash and RoRo berth.

Kamarajar port has set up a berth for car export (Renault and Nissan export from here) and for other general cargo at a cost of ₹140 crore. The berth can accommodate the world’s largest car carrier vessel with a storage capacity of 8,000 cars. Further, it has a back-up area of about 1,99,500 sq m with a car parking yard for 14,000 cars, which is the largest facility in any Indian ports. To meet export demand of automobile exporters, the port plans to develop RoRo-cum-general cargo berth at an investment of nearly ₹320 crore.

The Krishnapatnam port too, can handle RoRo vessel if any automotive company wants. At present, Isuzu is using the port for their container imports, sources said.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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