JSW Infrastructure has submitted a bid for a 30 year concession to mechanise and operate a Berth no 5 at Haldia Dock Complex, entailing investments of about ₹ 350 crore, says The Telegraph, on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis. The scope of work envisages fully mechanized operation involving unloading from ship by a mobile harbor crane, putting the cargo on conveyor belt to yard and then loading on to railway rakes by wagon loading station. The other entities in the fray include OSL, IRC and a consortium of Ripley & Co.The optimal capacity of the berth is projected to be 5M metric ton cargo per annum and the targeted cargo is bulk items such as coal, iron ore and manganese ore.The automated process will increase the cargo handling capacity by weeding out the existing semi-mechanized system in which the cargo is moved from the berth by truck to the yard and then loaded on to railway rakes by cranes. Faster evacuation of cargo would translate into savings on logistic cost for the trade. However, it could also mean more ships sailing into the dock navigating the narrow riverine channel of river Hooghly from Bay of Bengal. Due to siltation on the riverbed, large ships cannot dock at Haldia, limiting cargo load up to 30,000 tonne per vessel. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata, which operates Haldia Dock Complex, hopes to conclude the process to identify the successful bidder by September. The aspirants need to secure several permissions from the Centre, including a national security clearance, before submitting the price bid which will be called later.