The works at the Ramayapatnam port are proceeding at a brisk pace as the Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board is keen on completing it in the targeted 36 months and bring in the first ship by early 2024.
Currently, the Ramayapatnam Port Development Corporation Limited (RPDCL), a joint venture of Navayuga Engineering Company Limited (NECL) and Aurobindo Realty & Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd (AR & IPL), is getting the breakwaters constructed and other civil works done.
Once the breakwaters — of which the southern one will be the longest measuring 3.7 km, and the northern one 1.35 km — and dredging for the 250 metre-wide ship entry channel are completed in two to three months, the construction of four berths, including one for coal handling and a multi-purpose berth, will be carried out in a phased manner.
Other navigational aids like leading lights and a lighthouse will be set up in the due course.
Located in Ulavapadu mandal, barely 5 km from NH-65 and Tettu railway station, the Ramayapatnam port is considered the best among the three greenfield minor seaports being developed by the Andhra Pradesh government as far as connectivity is concerned — the other two being Bhavanapadu (Srikakulam district) and Machilipatnam (Krishna district).
The port has been planned to handle about 25 million tons of cargo per annum in the initial stages and 138 million tons in the ultimate year of its development.
According to APMB CEO S. Shan Mohan, the requisite environmental clearance and consent for establishment have been obtained. The DPR was prepared by RITES Limited and vetted by the project management consultant AECOM India.
With regard to designs, the services of the Netherlands-based engineering consulting firm Royal Haskoning DHV and IIT-Madras are being availed.
The port can accommodate ships weighing up to 80,000 DWT in Phase-I whereas the designs provided for a total 15 berths in the long run when larger carriers like cape-size and Panamax vessels can come in.
The total project cost is estimated to be ₹3,560 crore with a debt-equity ratio of 58:42 and internal rate of return pegged at an impressive 18.99%.
To start with, the port will be catering to its primary hinterland that consists of the erstwhile Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and Kurnool districts in Andhra Pradesh and Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy and Hyderabad in Telangana.
The secondary hinterland covers YSR Kadapa, Chittoor, Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, Medak and other areas of Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.