VPT engages Aecon for studying the satellite port project at Mulakedu and RINL appoints RITES to examine feasibility of captive jetty

The Detailed Feasibility Reports on construction of a satellite port by the Visakhapatnam Port Trust and a captive jetty of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited are under study.

Once the studies submitted by the consultants appointed by them are accepted after clarification of their doubts, a formal decision is expected on the funding pattern to take up construction, subject to obtaining clearances.

In all likelihood, Build Operate and Transfer format will be chosen as both the organisations are facing liquidity crunch.

While the VPT engaged Aecon, a consultant of international fame, for conducting DFR, the RINL, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, appointed RITES, a Government of India enterprise specialising in engineering, consultancy, and project services. Both the VPT and RINL have their own sites. VPT owns 172 acres with waterfront area of 2 km at Mulakedu near the 17 century Dutch township of Bhimili.

The idea was conceived mainly due to congestion at the main port and the cargo demand that will emerge in future. The project is expected to involve an investment of Rs.2,000 crore. On the other hand, RINL, a Navratna company, which has plans to invest Rs.22,000 crore to increase its capacity to 12 million tonne in next three to four years, has its own site on its backyard.

In its Detailed Project Report, the Indian Ports Association had suggested RINL to achieve 10 million tonne capacity with a captive jetty at Gangavaram. However, the port idea was shelved by RINL after its land at Gangavaram was taken over by the State government during the NDA rule for construction of a port by DVS Raju-led consortium. In the minor port that has come up at Gangavaram and built under the aegis of Gangavaram Port Limited, the State government has 11 per cent equity in lieu of its land. Due to advantage of material logistic, now RINL is toying with the idea of developing a captive jetty with an investment of Rs.1,000 crore and a capacity of 10 to 15 million tonne.

VPT is now hit by slowdown and dislocation caused due to modernisation and capacity addition works.

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