Vizhinjam port all set to receive first container vessel

Updated - July 10, 2024 11:48 am IST

Published - July 09, 2024 09:14 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Vizhinjam International Seaport is all set to start the commencement of the trial operations on Friday with commercial ships and container vessels arriving in. Addressing a press meet here on Tuesday, Port Minister V.N. Vasavan said with all the required infrastructure, mandatory clearance, and approvals in place, the port will be receiving its first container vessel called San Fernando on Thursday for trial run.

This would be followed by a full-fledged trial operation with real container vessels calling in at the port for a period of two to three months. During the period of the trial operation, the port will be witnessing entry of large vessels. Within few weeks of the commencement of trial operation, large container vessel with a length of about 400 metre will be calling at the port, said the Minister.

Post successful trial operations and stabilization of all performance parameters, the commissioning of the port will be declared during the month of September or October, said Mr. Vasavan.

Vizhinjam Seaport, India’s first semi-automated container port, is envisaged to handle majorly transshipment containers. The containers to be brought here by San Fernando will be transshipped to ports situated on the east coast of India.

According to officials, transshipment container operation on commercial basis requires higher precision and performance parameters.

For the success of the port, it will have to meet global standard on key parameters of dwell times, vessel turnaround, berth productivity, vehicle service time, ship handling productivity, quay crane productivity etc.

Being an automated port, normal testing with dummy vessels and barges loaded with dummy containers may not be sufficient for completing the tests required and achieving the desired key performance indicators.

As such a trial run deploying real container vessels and real containers (with goods) is planned in the first 600 m of the berth already completed and equipped with ship to shore (STS) cranes, said officials.  With the most modern container handling equipment and state-of-the-art automation and IT systems, Vizhinjam will be India’s first semi-automated port. The port will be offering its customers internationally benchmarked performance parameters and user experience, said officials.

The first container vessel will be received by Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan at a function on Friday attended by Union and State Ministers, dignitaries, officials, and the larger public representing the people of Kerala. The vessel with a capacity of 8,000 to 9,000 TEUs from the Port of Xiamen, China will be received. About 2,000 containers from the vessel will be offloaded at Vizhinjam. The vessel will be also availing the services of Vizhinjam Port for 400 container movements within the vessel.

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