Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has planned an investment of R4,500 crore over the next four years as part of its modernisation plan, which includes increasing container trade, clean cargo, setting up multi-modal parks and free trade zones. The port, which currently handles about 60 million tonne (MT) of cargo volume, hopes to handle over 125 MT by 2020.
“As part of our long-term modernisation plan, we plan to invest about R4,500 crore by 2020. We have already invested over R2,500 crore for increasing container trade, maintaining 50% clean cargo, multi-modal parks and free trade zones in the expansion plan. We expect to complete modernisation, mechanisatioin and berth improvement by 2020,” MT Krishna Babu, chairman, VPT, said. “The detailed project report (DPR) for multi-modal logistics park is expected to be ready in the next three months with KPMG as the consultant and we hope to complete in the next three to five years,”’ Krishna Babu said.
Visakhapatnam Port, which is expecting a 10% growth in revenues from R1,000 crore reported last year, had undertaken a number of projects to augment its capacity and efficiency including doubling capacities of inner harbour, modernise berthing structures besides setting up multi-cargo berths under the PPP mode.
“The proposed investment would be deployed for capacity augmentation to 125 MMTPA, adding four more berths, improvement in evacuation infrastructure, boosting clean cargo terminals, development of multimodel logistic hubs/parks, development of IT for paperless, seamless, transparent transactions, sustainability through environmental sensitivity, and generation of non-conventional energy,” he said. Incidentally, the port has been facing a lot of competition from the closely-located Gangavaram Port on freight volumes and cargo handling.
VPT has signed concession agreements for a public-private partnership (PPP) project for the extension of the existing container terminal on a design, build, finance, operate, transfer (DBFOT) basis. “Considerable investments through the PPP mode are on the anvil, envisaging deepening of channels and berths, construction of new berths, installation of state of art mechanised handling facilities and other logistics,” he said.
The port has three harbours which include an outer harbour, inner harbour and a fishing harbour. The outer harbour with a water spread of 200 hectares has six berths and the inner harbour with a water-spread of 100 hectares has 18 berths. The outer harbour is capable of accommodating 150,000 DWT vessels and draft upto 17 metres.The inner harbour is capable of accommodating vessels upto 230 metres and draft upto 11 metres.
Meanwhile, the ministry of shipping has set a target of achieving 135 MW across eight major ports in the country through solar power and 50 MW. “VPT becomes the first port to be powered by solar energy and has already commissioned 2 MW solar plant and will add another 8 MW by March 20,” he said.
The road ahead
* Visakhapatnam Port Trust’s modernisation plan includes increasing container trade, clean cargo, setting up multi-modal parks and free trade zones
* The port, which is expecting a 10% growth in revenues from R1,000 crore reported last year, had undertaken a number of projects to augment its capacity and efficiency including doubling capacities of inner harbour, modernise berthing structures besides setting up multi-cargo berths under the PPP mode