Ports Minister M. Vijayakumar said here on Monday that the State government will soon introduce an e-tendering system to expedite the development of ports in Kerala.

He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a Bollard Pull Testing Facility being introduced by the Department of Ports at Vizhinjam, near here, in collaboration with Cochin Shipyard Ltd.

The Minister said the new facility would place Vizhinjam on the international map and provide job opportunities for the local people. Fisheries Minister S. Sarma presided over the function.

Estimated to cost Rs.200 lakh, the bollard pull testing facility will be the first in the country to test vessels up to a maximum safe working load of 500 tonnes. The first series of vessels that will be subjected to the bollard pull test are anchor handling tug supply vessels constructed by the Cochin Shipyard for a client based in Norway.

Bollard pull trials are conducted for determining the maximum load that a ship can pull. The ship is tied to a fixed bollard on the shore. The pull of the vessel under maximum operating condition is measured by means of a load cell. All newly constructed tugs and special offshore vessels are required to clear the test in the presence of ship owners and classification agencies before delivery.