Kandla, also known as the Kandla Port Trust (Gujarati: કંડલા) is a seaport in Kutch District of Gujarat state in western India, near the city of Gandhidham. Located on the Gulf of Kutch, it is one of major ports on west coast. Kandla was constructed in the 1950s as the chief seaport serving western India, after the partition of India from Pakistan left the port of Karachi in Pakistan.
The Port of Kandla is located on the Gulf of Kutch on the northwestern coast of India some 256 nautical miles southeast of the Port of Karachi in Pakistan and over 430 nautical miles north-northwest of the Port of Mumbai (Bombay). It is the largest port of India by volume of cargo handled. Kandla history kandla Port Trust, India's busiest major port in recent years, is gearing to add substantial cargo handling capacity with private sector participation. The west coast port handled 72,225 million tonnes of cargo in 2008-09, over 11% more than 64,920 million tonnes handled in 2007-08.
Even as much of this growth has come from handling of crude oil imports, mainly for Essar Oil's Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, the port is also taking measures to boost non-POL cargo. Last fiscal, POL traffic accounted for 63 per cent of the total cargo handled at Kandla Port, as against 59% in 2007-08.
Although Kandla Port Trust officials declined to elaborate given the ongoing election code of conduct, it is reliably learnt that the port will soon initiate the process of selecting developers for four clean cargo berths that together aim to handle 8 million tonnes of cargo. The four berths will be supported by a 14 m draft capable of handling 75,000 dwt vessels. The port has already received encouraging response from prospective bidders, for the project that is estimated to cost nearly 5,000 million INR.
Traffic handled mln tns % chg* %share** 2003-04 41,523 2.2 12.0 2004-05 41,551 0.1 10.8 2005-06 45,907 10.5 10.8 2006-07 52,982 15.4 11.4 2007-08 64,920 22.5 12.5 2008-09 72,225 11.3 13.6with respect to previous year
in all India traffic at major ports
KPT is also moving towards building dedicated container handling capacity. In 2008-09 container trade was 138,000 containers, down from 165,000 conatiners in 2007-08.
There is currently one container terminal that is under private operatorship of ABG Heavy Industries Ltd. The port trust's plans include setting up a dedicated container terminal with two berths (No.11 and No.12 of the port) on BOT basis. The 3,300 million INR project is expected to annually handle 0.6 million containers.
The clean cargo and container berths form only a small part of KPT's expansion plans through private enterprise. Other aspects include berthing facilities off Tekra (Tuna) that is expected to boost cargo by 12 million tonnes, an offshore liquid terminal, bunkering facilities and a ship repair and building yard.
Kandla Port has shown buoyant growth in cargo handling in the recent past. In 2008-09, its total traffic grew by 13.6% to reach an all-time high of 72,225 million tonnes. The port's share in traffic handled by all major ports has risen steadily over the years, peaking at 13.6 per % last year (see table). Earlier projections made by the port indicate an annual capacity handling target of 100 million tonnes per annum by 2012.
The Port of Kandla Special Economic Zone (KASEZ) was the first special economic zone to be established in India and in Asia. Established in 1965, the Port of Kandla SEZ is the biggest multiple-product SEZ in the country. Kandla is the first Export Processing Zone in India. Covering over 310 hectares, the special economic zone is just nine kilometers from the Port of Kandla. Today, the Port of Kandla is India's hub for exporting grains and importing oil and one of the highest-earning ports in the country. Major imports entering the Port of Kandla are petroleum, chemicals, and iron and steel and iron machinery, but it also handles salt, textiles, and grain. A town has grown up on the port with a school and hotel etc.