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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Katra-Norway firm to launch 'floating port'

Katra-Norway firm to launch 'floating port'

April 11, 2006 12:29 IST

Ramesh Vangal-promoted Katra Group has joined hands with Norway-based marine transport major Wilh Wilhelmsen to launch a 'floating port.'

The floating port is a 250-metres long ship with 123,705 metric tonne of cargo capacity. This ship would help in loading and unloading of cargo fromĀ  big ships which are unable to drop anchor close to ports owing to draught constraints.

"Katra Group and Wilh Wilhelmsen have come together to float a 50:50 joint venture Katra Wilhelmsen. This company has devised a solution where the 'port' will be going to the ship instead of the ship coming to the port," said Vangal, who was former chief of PepsiCo Foods, India.

The floating port, M V Goan Pride, can transfer cargo at a speed of over 4,500 tonne per hour and is capable of loading vessels upto 300,000 dead weight tonne.

According to shipping industry analysts, Capesize and Panamax vessels would take 10 to 20 days to unload or load at the port.

"This alternate loading system at seas would save demurrage charges paid to port. Instead of 10 to 20 days, MV Goan Pride would be able to load or unload Capesize vessel in one day and Panamax vessels in two days," said Gokul Patnaik, MD, Katra Wilhelmsen.

At present, M V Goan Pride is owned and used by Goa-based mining houses Dempo and Salgaonkar. The group is in the process of transferring the vessel ownership to this joint venture.

The vessel costs around over Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion). Patnaik said the company is planning to acquire more vessels as this innovative transshipment solution would help reduce port-handling costs drastically.

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BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai