Responsible for loading and unloading Goa’s natural resources, Adani, JSW and Vedanta have played a crucial role in rebounding the performance of Mormugao Port
From around 3.975 mt in April-May 2021, the cargo handling at Mormugao Port Trust surged by over 12.93 per cent, to 4.489 mt this year. Playing an integral role in Goa’s economy, the major port has had its own shares of ups and downs over the years. However, it wasn’t until recently that the trend started to look up, owing to the onboarding of private players. Handling Goa’s coal, Adani, JSW and Vedanta are among those companies.
Until 2012, MPT was a major iron exporter. In fact, in 2012, Goa registered its highest iron ore exports of a whopping 54.4 mt at MPT and Panaji Minor Port. Of these, about 46.84 mt were exported to countries like China, Japan and more. However, the ban on iron ore mining in 2012 had posed a grave impact on MPT, with as many as 2,600 of its employees and 4000 pensioners facing dire straits.
Amidst the precarious situation, Adani, JSW and Vedanta came on board. Currently, MPT has 11 berths, out of which five have been leased out to those companies. In its Goa’s coal project, Adani simply loads and unloads the non-renewable fuel source. With only 10 per cent stake, it owns one berth at the coal handling facility of the port. Meanwhile, Vedanta and JSW own two berths each.
Responsible for loading and unloading of Goa coal , Adani, JSW and Vedanta have also played a pivotal role in the rebound of MPT’s performance. While coal imports at the port stood at 2.7 MT in 2001, it rose to almost 7 MT in 2011-12 and then to 12 MT in 2015-16.
The private stakeholders have also been approaching their endeavours sustainably. While handling Goa’s coal, Adani, for one, uses water spray systems that are infused with wetting agents. This is aimed to capture coal dust emissions. Similar initiatives are also being undertaken by the other two. Vedanta has even gone as far as re-greening one of its mines in the state, which is quite commendable.
From once being a major iron ore exporter to now handling coal, MPT is also looking to foray into other sectors. This can augment the port’s contribution to Goa’s economy. “We will now see how we can put the port to other uses. Currently, pharma exports go from Goa to JNP and from there, they are exported further,” said Pramod Sawant.
He has also added that coal handling at the port will be significantly reduced, going forward. However, for now, meeting the current power demands necessitates the handling of Goa’s coal, which Adani, JSW and Vedanta are significantly contributing towards.