Madurai

Pandemic hits VOC Port’s performance in last fiscal

THOOTHUKUDI

The V.O. Chidambaranar Port has handled 31.79 million tonnes of cargo – 22.53 million tonnes of imports, 9.18 tonnes of exports and 0.08 tonnes of transshipment – during 2020-21 fiscal year. This is 11.89% lesser than the previous fiscal, mainly due to the pandemic.

In terms of containers, the port has handled 7.62 lakh twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers during this fiscal, again registering a decrease of 5.22% over the previous year’s container traffic of 8.04 TEUs.

However, its “operational efficiency” was not compromised, Chairman, VOC Port, T.K. Ramachandran said in a statement. It handled 106.54 lakh tonnes of coastal cargo, surpassing the previous record traffic of 102.69 lakh tonnes. The PSA Sical Container Terminal handled 4,413 TEUs in a day, the highest from a single cargo vessel, bettering the previous record of 3,979 TEUs of containers.

The port unloaded 56,687 tonnes of coal in 24 hours at Berth 9, surpassing the earlier record of 55,785 tonnes and handled 5,628 TEUs of containers in a single day against the previous record of 4,524 TEUs. In a month, the port handled 81,013 TEUs during this fiscal while it was only 80,474 TEUs. While the port had handled 1,80,597 tonnes in a single day in the previous fiscal, this figure stood at 1,89,395 tonnes during 2020 – 2021.

Its operating income stood at ₹ 549.51 crore during 2020 – 2021 against ₹ 582.90 crore during the previous financial year and the net surplus after tax is ₹ 113.72 crore against ₹ 135.23 crore.

It has proposed to dredge North Cargo Berth - III to a draft of 14.20 metres at an estimated cost of ₹ 64.15 crore. In order to facilitate ships of Beam 49 metres and LOA (Length Overall) of 366 (Existing Beam 48 metres , LOA 310 metres) to call VOC Port, widening of the Port’s entrance channel from 152.40 metres to 230 metres at a cost of ₹ 15.24 crores has also been taken up by the Port.

It is in the process of developing its Third Container Terminal under Public - Private Partnership mode. To facilitate ‘Ease of Doing Business’, installation of state-of-the-art ‘Drive Through Container Scanner’, having the capacity to scan 100 Trucks per hour, at a cost of ₹ 47 crore is nearing completion.

To ensure the safe handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gas products as per the guidelines, it is revamping the Fixed Fire Fighting System at an estimated cost of ₹ 17.5 crore.

As a trendsetter among the major ports across the country, the Port is all set to become the first green port of India by adopting an integrated Green Energy Port Model.

It has taken up the installation of grid connected 5 MW ground-based solar power plant at a cost of ₹ 19.81 crore. It has been a frontrunner in implementing various Green Port initiatives and has already installed 500 KW rooftop solar power plant. Installation of another 140 KW roof top solar project is in progress. The Port is also in the process of installing onshore and offshore wind turbines to harness wind potential at its premises.

It has also identified 2,000 acres of land for setting up of Port-based industries (Tuticorin - SPEEDZ). In Phase-I, tenders were invited for allotment of 334.30 acres and the Port has received good response and Port land will be allotted to the successful bidders shortly for starting port-based industries.

It handled Indian Navy Ships during this fiscal that brought back 2,271 Indians stranded in Sri Lanka, Maldives and Iran.

It launched the Cargo Ferry Service to Maldives (Kulhudhuffushi and Male) and inaugurated the ‘Direct Port Entry Facility’, the facility operated by Central Warehousing Corporation at Port’s Truck Parking Terminal which would enable direct movement of containers from factories without intermediate handling at any Container Freight Station, thus facilitating the shippers to Gate-In their factory stuffed exports directly to the container terminal on 24x7 basis.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:37:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/pandemic-hits-voc-ports-performance-in-last-fiscal/article34567041.ece

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