VPT all set to go ahead with expansion of container terminal

VCTPL has set a target to increase its handling capacity to 2 million TEU by 2020.  

The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT), which has prepared the blueprint to become a world-class port, is all set to raise the green flag for the expansion of container terminal with an investment of ₹633 crore, one of its big-ticket projects.

With Visakha Container Terminal Private Limited, the BOT operator for the project, achieving the financial closure, the works are expected to commence by the year-end or early next year. After approval from the board, the Letter of Concession will be issued, the VPT officials say.

Though the VPT signed the concession agreement with the VCTPL, a joint venture of United Liner Agency (a part of J.M. Baxi Group) and Dubai Ports International, on December 17 in 2015, the grounding of the project took a long time owing to the issues pertaining to road connectivity, prolonged recession among other factors. The VCTPL has committed a gross revenue share of 11.04% to the VPT.

“The project is likely to take off very shortly and it is one of the prestigious projects undertaken by the port,” VPT Deputy Chairman P.L. Haranadh says.

The VCTPL was built in Vizag, at the centre of East Coast and close to Malacca Straits, as a BOT terminal in 2003.

With its strategic location and wide hinterland, the project is as an ideal gateway for container traffic. It has a natural depth of 16.5 metres, quay length of 450 m and channel width of 220 m.

Cabotage law relaxed

With the handling capacity of 0.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), the VCTPL has set a target to increase it to 2 million TEU by 2020.

The facility has modern infrastructure including post-Panamax ship to shore cranes, more than 350 reefer plug points and excellent rail siding. Industry sources say that as the Cabotage law has been relaxed, the VCTPL has a potential to emerge as a regional transhipment hub with main liner such as Maersk operating dedicated service connecting the Visakhapatnam Port to the Middle East and other international destinations.

In May this year, the Union Shipping Ministry issued a notification lifting the curbs on foreign registered vessels on transportation of loaded or empty containers between Indian ports.

Earlier, it was the prerogative of Indian registered shipping lines that paid the taxes.

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Printable version | Sep 15, 2021 11:53:39 PM |

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