To handle volume of cargo in future

: In an official communication, the Ministry of Shipping has spelt out the requirement of coal to be handled by the V.O. Chidambaranar Port here.

According to Mr. S. Natarajan, the port chairman, coal requirement will reach 242.16 lakh tonnes by 2014-15 and 300 lakh tonnes by 2019-20.

Copper concentrate and rock phosphate handled by the port were also expected to increase simultaneously, he told The Hindu here on Tuesday. To cater to the growing demand for coal, the port management has gone in for capacity augmentation and cleared the construction of four berths, Mr. Natarajan said.

On the north cargo berth (NCB), coal would be transported to the Neyveli Thermal Power Plant through conveyors, raising the port’s capacity by 6.30 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). As for NCB - II, construction was in progress and it would be completed by March 2014 with a capacity of 7.20 MTPA, the chairman said and added that works were in progress to develop NCB - III at an estimated cost of Rs.420 crore under the public-private partnership.

The capacity of this berth would be 9.15 MTPA. NCB - IV would also be developed at an estimated cost of Rs.355 crore and its construction was expected to be completed by June, 2015, he said.

The chairman said that dredging in front of the NCB -II, III and IV would be taken up soon.

An integrated loading facility will be set up at the Hare Island for storing cargo.

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