New Delhi: Expecting a three-fold increase in alumina exports to about 3 million tonne per annum (MTPA) in the next three years, state-run NALCO is set to revamp its port handling facility at Visakhapatnam.

"We expect alumina exports to attain a peak of 2.7 MTPA by 2014-15 and will soon revamp the existing facility. For this, we have already invited expression of interest (EOI) from reputed global players by January 15, 2012, for replacement of ship loader," a National Aluminium Company (NALCO) official said.

The existing alumina handling capacity at NALCO's Port facility at Visakhapatnam is 1 MTPA.

The system including alumina ship loader was commissioned in 1987 and is inadequate to handle higher capacity vessels, the official said.

"The existing system has been handling Handy max class of vessels in the inner harbour of Visakhapatnam Port. The port Authority has now deepened the inner harbour so as to handle higher capacity Panamax Class of Vessels," he said.

Also, the new system after installation is likely to improve the dust mitigation measures for meeting the emission norms provided by Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board.

The official said that NALCO has engaged Howe (India) Private Limited (HIPL), New Delhi as consultant for the replacement of ship loader.

The design, engineering, supply and installation of ship loader shall be carried out on a lumpsum turnkey basis and tenders would soon be invited for it.

NALCO owns and operates large integrated Mines-Alumina- Aluminium Complex in the country with multi-locational operations including Mines and Alumina Refinery at Damanjodi, Orissa, aluminium smelter and Captive Power Plant at Angul, Orissa and Port Facilities at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

The Orissa-headquartered company had posted a profit after tax of Rs 1,069 crore in 2010-11. Its sales revenue grew 18 per cent to Rs 5,959 crore during the last fiscal.

(Agencies)