Vizag Port launches work on WQ-North berth

In a significant development, work on West Quay North berth (combination of old WQ-7 and 8) has been launched by Visakhapatnam port with funding from internal accruals.

DBM Geotechnics and Construction Pvt. Ltd has bagged the project on turnkey basis. Experts from IIT-Chennai studied the sheet pile valve problem faced by erstwhile WQ-7 after which it was decided to redesign it. Port sources said the first facility among the two old berths would be made ready to traffic in the first year.

The WQ North berth will have 560 metre length. It will be capable to handle two Panamax vessels simultaneously. Dredging Corporation of India has been awarded the dredging contract for northern arm at a cost of Rs.35 crore. On completion of rock dredging by Dharti Dredging and Infrastructure and northern arm dredging by DCI, the inner harbour can handle Panamax vessels without lightening.

WQ-North and dredging are two major projects which are being executed by Visakhapatnam port with its internal accruals. Both projects will cost Rs.640 crore of which nearly Rs.220 crore (including equipment) will be spent on WQ-North to handle bulk cargo like bauxite ore, gypsum and manganese.

DBM General Manager and WQ North project in-charge Ch. Venkat Rao told The Hindu on Monday that they would complete the project within two years as per the specifications of Visakhapatnam port.

Dredging in outer harbour to handle cape size vessels was completed last year. Vedanta General Cargo Private Ltd has developed coal handling facility with a capacity of 10.18 million tonne in the outer harbour. The Adani facility, which is already ready to handle coal will be commissioned after inner harbour draft is raised to 14 metres.

As per Maritime Agenda 2020, the port is investing Rs.13,938 crore mostly on deepening of channels and mechanisation of berths through BOT operators.

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