NEW DELHI (TIP): Ennore Port Limited (EPL), Chennai and Ford India Private Limited have signed an agreement for export of Ford cars though the Ennore port for a period of 10 years.

Speaking on the occasion the Union Minister for Shipping Shri G.K. Vasan said that this is a part of series of initiatives by the UPA government for attracting investments in the infrastructure sector, particularly in ports and automobile sectors. The agreement provides for various volume based discounts on wharfage by EPL ranging from 5% to 30% to encourage more exports through EPL. Ford India Private Limited has set up a modern integrated manufacturing facility at Maraimalai Nagar, near Chennai, for export of their automobile products.

In the last few years, Chennai has emerged as the hub of automobile manufacturing sector with all global auto majors having their manufacturing plants in the city. Besides, Chennai has also emerged as a major centre for export of automobiles. Ennore Port has played a key role in facilitating these exports. Between September 2010 and December 2013 about 4,49,720 automobile units have been exported from Ennore Port, including those of manufacturers like Nissan, Ford & Ashok Leyland from Chennai, Toyota from Bangalore and Honda from Delhi. Ennore Port has developed a General Cargo-cum-Car Terminal at a cost of Rs.140 crore, which includes a car parking yard of 35 acres for parking of 10000 cars at a time, the biggest amongst the Major Ports.

Giving details of the future projects of the port, the minister said that the Ennore Port has planned to set up an LNG storage and regasification terminal with IOCL for import of LNG at an estimated investment of Rs.4500 crores having capacity of 5 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum. The IOCL plans to commission the project by 2016-17. The Port has also commenced preproject activities for the construction of the third coal berth to handle additional 9 million tonnes of coal required by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO).

In keeping with the global trend of containerised transportation of cargo, Ennore Port has also come up with a proposal to develop a container terminal at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,270 crore with a capacity of 1.4 million TEUs. This project is targeted for award during 2013-14 along with Multi Cargo Terminal. The Port is expected to handle 24 MMT during 2013-14 as against 17.89 MMT during 2012-13. During the 12th five year plan, Ennore port has plans to increase the Port capacity from present 30 MTPA to 66.8 MTPA. All these measures are expected to generate more employment opportunities, promote the growth of Indian exports as well as boost the domestic economy.

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