Thursday, 3 January 2013

Vizag- the new premier shipping hub?

The public sector Visakhapatnam port is going places, thanks to the administration’s ‘Look East Policy’ and the country’s Maritime Agenda 2020. Major expansion plans at the second ranked port in the country- it ranks after Kandla- have already taken it to a position where it handled cargo of 67.41 million tonnes last year, a figure that VPT wants to raise to 112 million tonnes by 2013/2014.

“With its strategic location, readymade infrastructure and the city turning into an ideal destination for investors, we are pretty sure that Visakhapatnam will soon find an important place on the world maritime map,” CII Vizag zone chairman and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited Director (Commercial) T.K. Chand told The Hindu newspaper.

The success of Gangavaram Port- which itself is earmarked for a Rs 1000 crore expansion- has spurred plans of two more satellite ports, besides major investment in infrastructure in the region. VPT Chairman Kallam revealed at a conference that the port would invest “Rs.9,803 crore – Rs.13,939 crore on construction and modernisation of berths and Rs.2,112 crore on deepening of channels/berths – to make Visakhapatnam Port truly world-class”.  One of the satellite ports- Mulakuddu- will be rolled out with an initial investment of Rs 2000 crores and an initial capacity of 20 million tonnes.

The upcoming 4,500 crore Petronet LNG terminal is slated to be operational in four years. In addition, RINL, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, is conducting a feasibility study to set up a new port with an Rs.1,000 crore investment and an initial capacity of 18 million tonnes. RINL wants to invest a total of Rs 30,000 crores here as it plans to raise steel production to 12 million tonnes per annum in next few years. 

“With such a huge hinterland and introduction of international flights to Singapore and Dubai and proposals for air connectivity with Bangkok, Colombo and Sharjah, the city has a bright future for port-based activity,” Capt. Sriram Ravi Chander, COO of Visakha Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd told The Hindu.


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