State-owned IIFCL has sanctioned Rs 8,244 crore loans to about 20 projects to help add 836 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of ports capacity, which is one-fourth of India's total cargo volumes, a top company official said.
India's total port capacity is about 2,600 MTPA. Of this, 12 major ports' cargo handling capacity stood at 1,598 MTPA as of March 2022.
India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) has has been extending its financial support to many strategic port projects, including the Paradip Port, Essar Vizag port, Tuticorin, Krishnapatnam, Karaikal.
"The latest is the Ramayapatnam port, which reinforces our belief in this very important sector and the potential it holds to improve connectivity, bring down logistics costs, and provide a boost to the economy," IIFCL Managing Director P R Jaishankar told PTI.
With investment in three upcoming ports including Ramyapatnam and Bhavanapadu, he said, the capacity would touch 1,000 MTPA with these ports going on stream in a couple of years.
Ramayapatnam Port in Andhra Pradesh is expected to commence operations next year in December with four berths with 34 MTPA capacity.
"IIFCL, till date, has provided financial assistance of Rs 8,244 crore to the port sector. Of this, Rs 787 crore was sanctioned to various terminals in 5 major ports and Rs 7,465 crore was sanctioned to 15 minor port projects. Most of the projects are operational and presently 3 non major ports are under construction," he said.
IIFCL has been involved in development of 5 out of 12 major ports and 15 non-major ports in India.
Continuing with its vision to fund world class infrastructure in India, IIFCL will be providing financial assistance of Rs 1,000 crore to another greenfield non major port in Andhra Pradesh with proposed capacity of 30 MTPA.
"The ongoing decade could well be a golden decade for the sector with positive government policy interventions, private sector capital infusion, and holistic and inclusive development with efficiency, job creation and innovation," he said.
Under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the total capital expenditure by both the Centre and state governments in the port sector between FY20 and FY25 is estimated at Rs 121,194 crore.
For projects executed by the Centre, about 58 identified projects are planned for implementation in the period 2020-25.
IIFCL in the past has been supporting the sector and will continue to explore opportunities to fund for development of port infrastructure and support the government's vision of making India a developed nation by 2047, he said.
With improvement in various parameters, the institution has transformed itself from being the last mile lender to a preferred financier.
So far, the state-owned infrastructure financing firm has sanctioned around 650 projects with a total outlay of Rs 11.5 lakh crore and out of them, 500 are public private partnership (PPP) projects.