Tamil Nadu

V.O.C. Port gets its first mainline vessel

In a first:  The mainline vessel at the Dakshin Bharat Gateway Container Terminal of the V.O.C Port in Thoothukudi on Wednesday.

In a first: The mainline vessel at the Dakshin Bharat Gateway Container Terminal of the V.O.C Port in Thoothukudi on Wednesday.

The first mainline vessel called on the Dakshin Bharat Gateway Container Terminal of the V.O.C. Port here on Wednesday.

Recently, capital dredging was carried out at the port by increasing the draft of the berth from 12.8 m to 14 m.

Officials said handling of mainline vessels would reduce expenditure by $50 per container, as the need for transportation of goods using feeder vessels from mainline vessels at the Colombo port is expected to come down, officials said.

Union Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Ministers of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan and Mansukh Mandaviya jointly flagged off the inaugural call of the mainline vessel through videoconference.

Mr. Gadkari said it would be a game changer in container traffic of south India, making the port a mainline vessel port. “With its high potential, the port will soon become a transshipment port in the near future,” he said.

The mainline vessel, M.V. Wan Hai 510, is a Panamax class container vessel with a overall length of 268.8 metres and breadth extreme of 32.2 metres, and a container carrying capacity of 4,333 TEUs. It connects two Malaysian ports — Penang & Port Klang and Chinese ports such as Hong Kong, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo and Shekou. The service is operated with six vessels with calls to the port every Tuesday.

On completion of the inner harbour optimisation project, the draft would be increased to 16.5 m in a year, enabling larger vessels to call at the port, port officials said.

Infrastructure expenses

In the last four years, the port has made investments up to ₹1,500 crore for improvement of infrastructure, including commissioning of a coastal berth, mechanisation of berth 9, modernisation of two coal jetties, introduction of two coal berths, three harbour mobile cranes and rail connectivity to Hare island.

Mr. Palaniswami said the mainline service to Far East countries would boost the State’s exports and its overall economy. With the port having a draft of 14m and located close to the East West Trade route, it was poised to attract more mainline vessels. A concession of 60% on vessel-related charges would be offered to mainline vessels calling at the port, he said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan termed it a historic moment for the port, which was declared a major harbour in 1974. Port chairman Rinkesh Roy, deputy chairman N. Vaiyapuri, Collector Sandeep Nanduri, Superintendent of Police Murali Rambha, port users and other officials were present.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 7:55:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/voc-port-gets-its-first-mainline-vessel/article25731033.ece