With increasing demand and vast hinterland stretching over Odisha, Chattisgarh West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, the port sector traffic in Visakhapatnam region is set to witness a quantum jump in the years to come.

As of now, the two ports located in the city – Visakhapatnam Port in the public sector – the second largest port in India and Gangavaram Port – a minor port developed by Gangavaram Port Ltd (GPL) in 2009 under Public Private Partnership mode handle an annual cargo of 85 million tonne.

The participants at the East Coast Business Summit held in the city sometime ago overwhelmingly felt that the region with deep draft facility offers a splendid opportunity for making a shipping hub on the East Coast. The direct flight availability to Singapore close on the heels of launching air-link to Dubai is also expected to facilitate easy access to investors world-wide.

The ambitious Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada, alumina refineries, proposed Greenfield oil refinery by HPCL along with other partners and the expansion programme of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, will further give a fillip to the development of the Visakhapatnam, very often dubbed as ‘City with a future.’

Realising the need to handle high volume of traffic, Visakhapatnam Port has already finalised a blueprint to handle 130 million tonne by 2016-17 with an investment of Rs.13,000 crore. The port handled a throughput of 67.41 million tonne during 2011-12.

The Visakhapatnam Port Trust is in the process of finalising a consultant to prepare a harbour blueprint and layout at Mulakedu, near Bhimunipatnam for setting up a satellite port with an estimated investment of Rs.2,000 crore.  

Gangavaram Port is investing nearly Rs.1,000 crore to expand its handling capacity from 16.54 million tonne to 40.95 million tonne.

Feasibility study

RINL has engaged a consultant for a feasibility study on developing a captive jetty at Gangavaram to save freight cost. At present, it depends on Gangavaram port located on its backyard for transporting its raw material and finished products.

Sources said the State Government is also keen to promote minor ports at Bhimunipatnam, Kalingapatnam, Bhavanapadu and other places in North Andhra to cash in on the growing demand for transporting cargo by sea.

“The Look East’ policy and growth in the manufacturing sector, development of Special Economic Zones and industrial enclaves offer ample scope for growth and I am confident of a very bright future for port sector in the region,” Capt. Sriram Ravi Chander, COO of Vizag Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd. told The Hindu .

  • State keen on promoting minor ports at Bhimunipatnam, Kalingapatnam and Bhavanapadu

  • The ‘Look East’ policy will play dividends, says COO, Vizag Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd.