JSW Group Plans to Invest Rs 10K Cr for Expansion of Its Ports’ Capacity

Group wants to achieve 200 MT by 2020; eyeing ports across AP, Odisha & TN for acquisitions

Sajjan Jindal's JSW Group plans to shape its ports business into a major player in the next five years, becoming the only Indian conglomerate that can pose a challenge to the Adani Group's steep rise in this sector.

The steel-to-energy behemoth, along with its partners, plans to `10,000 crore to expand its put in ports even as it plans to increase capacity more than six times to 200 million tonne (MT) by 2020.“We at JSW don't set up any goals that are easily achievable. We are not a very large port company today but our ambition is to convert it into one of the major port companies in India,” Chairman Sajjan Jindal said.

Apart from the `10,000-crore organic expenditure, Jindal is looking at acquisitions on the east coast to speed up the process of achieving the 200 MT target. It is scanning major and non-major ports, across Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

The group, through its subsidiary JSW Infrastructure, already operates two ports in Maharashtra and two cargo berths in Goa.It is also building a terminal in Odisha's Paradip Port.

“If we have to grow from 33 MT to 200 MT, we will have to grow at 25% compounded annual growth rate every year. For that, brownfield expansions, some acquisitions, addressing connectivity to attract third party cargo, growing the scale to accommodate larger ships: these are our plans,” JSW Infrastructure Chief Executive BVJK Sharma said.

The Adani Group operates India's largest port company, Adani Ports & SEZ, which has more than 300 MT of cargo carrying capacity at eight locations. The company is also in the process of building and acquiring more capacity on the east coast as it recognises the country's crying need for mechanised ports as old ports struggle to accommodate growing volumes. JSW may list JSW Infrastructure once it grows to a significant size.

JSW Group to invest in eastern ports

JSW Group is considering new investments in the ports sector on the Eastern coast of the country. The Group has already invested aboutRs. 1,000 crore on the West coast.

The new investments will consolidate the Group’s presence in the sector, said Chairman and Managing Director of the Group, Sajjan Jindal.

He was addressing media persons after signing a concession agreement with the Railway Ministry and the Government of Maharashtra.

On the West coast, the group has ports in Dharamtar and Jaigarh in Maharashtra. In Goa, it has a port called South West, which provides logistic support to the JSW steel plant in Vijayanagar, Karnataka.

Jindal said that Group has invested about Rs. 1,000 crore in the three ports and would invested another Rs. 2,000 crore in the next two years. The port business offers growth opportunities to the Group.

Concession agreement

JSW Jaigarh Port Ltd (JSWJPL), an arm of JSW Infrastructure Ltd, entered into a 30-year concession agreement with Konkan Railway Corporation and the Maharashtra Government, for developing 33.7 km of new railway corridor, which will connect Jaigarh port in Ratnagiri district to Digni station on the Konkan Rail network. JSWJPL will develop the rail line as a Public Private Partnership in 30 months.

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