CCI by its order dated January 4, 2016 has initiated an investigation against Kamarajar Port Ltd. (the erstwhile Ennore Port) and Chettinad International Coal Terminal Pvt. Ltd. (Chettinad) against alleged abuse of dominant position. The case was filed by an association of Tamil Nadu Power Producers Association (TNPPA).

Chettinad is engaged in the procuring terminal services at Ennore Port. Since all coal is transported through sea which is then transferred from the ports to the power plants through roads or railways, the Chettinad Coal Terminal acquired prima-facie dominant position. Since, no other alternative avenues were available to import coal for power plants, the power producers situated around the Ennore Port had to rely on Chettinad terminal.

It has been alleged that owing to its position of monopoly Chettinad drastically increased its charges from INR 180/MT to INR 300/MT in October 2011. Chettinad has allegedly imposed unregulated charges, charging for coordination and liasoning services (to one M/s Breeze Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.) in an unfair manner.

The CCI considered the relevant market as the market of provision of coal terminal services in and around Kamarajar Port. The CCI considered that Chettinad terminal has a market share of 100% and does not face any competitive concerns.

The CCI was of the prima-facie opinion that levying of liasoning charges was unfair and abusive. The DG has been directed to investigate the conduct of Chettinad for abuse of dominant position.

(Source: CCI: Order dated January 04, 2016. For full text see CCI website)