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Plan to develop two container terminals

Friday, 01 March 2019 | 00:00

V.O.C Chidambaranar Port Trust has planned to develop two container terminals in the port soon.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of a ‘Shipping Summit’ in which various stakeholders in the industry participated, Chairman T.K. Ramachandran said that the port had seen an increase in container traffic, while it had witnessed a downfall in bulk cargo traffic this year.

Commissioner of Customs K. Diwakar said that the revenue in the current year would slide to around ₹3,800 crore due to reduced imports, while a revenue of ₹4,400 crore was witnessed last year.

In order to meet its projected traffic, the port has recently sought expression of interest from container terminal operators and shipping lines for developing Berth IX as its third container terminal on an Own, Operate and Maintain basis (OOM) for a period of 20 years.

Conversion of Berth IX as container terminal and construction of Berth X would increase the existing total container handling capacity of the port from 1.01MTEUs to 2.49 MTEUs. The projected requirement is 3 MTEUs by 2034-35.

Meanwhile, in order to increase the dry bulk handling capacity especially coal, the proposed infrastructure includes upgradation of coal jetty I, II and north cargo berth I, mechanisation of NCB II and III (dredging would also be conducted in NCB III). This would take the coal-handling capacity to 52 million MT, while other dry bulk of 6 MMT can be handled. The port had handled 12.48 million MT in 2017-18.

The port has sufficient capacity to handle projected break bulk and liquid bulk traffic, said Vice Chairman N. Vaiyapuri. The Coastal Employment Unit under the Sagarmala project is also on the anvil through which a number of industries would be developed around the port. The entrance of the port would be widened from 153m to 230m.

Many industry stakeholders stressed upon the importance of making the port a transshipment hub, implement the Sethusamudram shipping canal project and improve rail connectivity. They said that the port has to improve its infrastructure rather quickly lest ports like Vizhinjam provide a stiff competition in the future.
Source: The Hindu

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