A facility installed on the Vizhinjam coast to test the maximum tugging capacity of a ship is scheduled to become operational on September 23.

Minister for Ports K. Babu is scheduled to dedicate to the nation the Bollard Pull Test Facility set up by Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and lay the foundation stone for the water supply and sanitation facilities at Vizhinjam.

The facility is being showcased by the CSL as the largest of its kind, capacity-wise, in the country. A CSL official said the facility could test ships which had a pulling capacity of up to 500 tonnes. At present, the highest test capacity available in the country was 200 tonnes.

The bollard test is typically performed by tying a thick rope (hawser) from the ship to a fixed structure (bollard) on shore. The ship's engine is then throttled to the maximum and the tugging capacity measured using a ‘load cell' or a dynamometer which is fixed between the hawser and the bollard.