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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sical gets approval to convert iron ore terminal into a coal facility

Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012

The Mint reported that the board of government controlled Ennore Port Ltd has approved a request from Sical Iron Ore Terminals Ltd to handle coal at its INR 500 crore iron ore loading facility after a ban on export of the ore from Karnataka has rendered the terminal idle since it was opened in January last year.

This is the first instance of such a cargo change being allowed after a port contract has been tendered and awarded.

Mr Rakesh Srivastava a joint secretary looking after ports in the Union shipping ministry said that “At a meeting on 10 February, the board of Ennore Port gave its in-principle approval to convert the iron ore terminal into a coal terminal. Sical Iron Ore Terminals will be allowed to handle only the coal sourced by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to fire its power stations.”

Mr Srivastava said that “The board’s in principle clearance is subject to requisite final approval from the government.”

TNEB is expected to ship about 10 million tonnes of coal a year through Ennore. This condition will ensure that the exclusive rights granted to Chettinad International Coal Terminal Pvt. Ltd to handle coal for customers other than TNEB at Ennore port is maintained.

Demand for shipping coal through Ennore has surged after the Madras high court directed Chennai port, located 20km from Ennore, to stop handling dusty cargo such as coal and iron ore from 1 October, to check pollution in north Chennai. The permission to change cargo will help the project lenders avert the asset from turning sticky.

Sical Iron Ore Terminals is a joint venture firm formed by Sical Logistics Ltd and state run commodity trader MMTC Ltd to develop and operate the new iron ore terminal at Ennore port in Tamil Nadu, India’s biggest iron ore loading facility, for 30 years. Sical Logistics has a 74% stake in the project while the rest is held by MMTC.

(Sourced from

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