Ford India has signed a pact with the Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) to export the company's locally produced vehicles to foreign markets for the next 10 years. The agreement was signed today between Ford India and EPL in the presence of Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vasan said, “Chennai has emerged as a major centre for export of automobiles. Ennore Port has played a key role in facilitating these exports."
In September last year, Ford had announced its plan which involved accelerating its export strategy to meet the rising demand. Ford’s manufacturing facilities in Chennai and the upcoming facility at Sanand will be the main bases for its exports to more than 50 global markets. In June last year, a similar agreement was signed between the port and Nissan for export of its cars for the next 10 years. Such agreement provides for discounts to manufacturers on wharfage ranging from 5-30 percent depending on the volume to encourage more exports through EPL.
At a cost of Rs 140 crore, EPL has recently constructed a cargo terminal. The terminal includes a car parking yard spread across 35 acres and can park 10,000 cars at a time, one of the biggest amongst the major ports in India. The port exported more than 4.2 lakh vehicles of companies like Ashok Leyland, Toyota and Honda between September 2010 and December 2013.
The Union Cabinet recently approved a new land use policy for major ports. This has opened up new options for the advancement Ennore port. The port's CMD, M A Bhaskarachar said at the event, ”Ennore Port this year is also working on setting up a new container terminal at a cost of Rs 1,270 crore with a capacity of 1.4 million TEUs an LNG terminal with an investment of Rs 4,500 crore and a coal berth to handle nine million tonnes of coal for the Tamil Nadu state electricity utility.”