Nine berths being set up under PPP mode, he says

Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT), which manages one of the strategic ports in the country, has exuded confidence that it will put an end to negative growth and dip in throughput from next year to revive its past glory. Port Deputy Chairman G.V.L. Satya Kumar told reporters that VPT suffered due to lack of timely initiatives to face challenges being thrown up by two state-of-the-art private ports that came up in its neighbourhood.

“Once the PPP guidelines were put in place in 2008, we did initiate the process for mechanisation to achieve faster evacuation of cargo. Work on nine berths is being taken up under PPP mode to make the port totally mechanised,” he said.

The port is investing Rs.13,938 crore, of which Rs.7,100 crore on PPP mode, to make it a landlord port as per the policies pursued by the Union government. The Maritime Agenda-2020 envisages an investment of Rs.2,112 crore on deepening of channels/berths by dredging to increase the draft, Rs.9,803 crore on construction/modernisation of berths, Rs.744 crore on equipment, Rs.646 crore on rail and road connectivity and Rs.633 crore on logistics.

Mr. Satya Kumar said the projected traffic by the end of 2016-17 was 83 million tonnes and 103 million tonnes by 2019-20. The envisaged capacity is 140 million tonnes and 149 million tonnes respectively during 2016-17 and 2019-20.

To a question, he said the port would handle throughput of around 59 million tonnes by the end of 2013-14, almost matching the figure of last year.

“We will enjoy the benefits of our modernisation drive from next financial year when we are expecting traffic of 67 to 68 million tonne. It will go up to 72 to 73 million tonne in 2015-16 and there won’t be no looking back from then onwards,” he stated.

Elaborating on PPP projects, he said a decision on awarding the contract for extension of container terminal at a cost of Rs. 633 crore would be finalised shortly.

Milestone

Describing the commissioning of mechanised coal handling by Vedanta under the aegis of Vizag General Cargo Berth Pvt. Ltd in the outer harbour as a milestone, he said now they had achieved unloading rate at 70,000 tonnes per day with rapid wagon loading system of one rake in one hour. The project, which was commissioned in April, involved an investment of Rs.444.10 crore.

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