The VO Chidambaranar Port, one of the top 12 major ports in the country, and Tamil Nadu entity TANGEDCO today inked a pact to augment the capacities of two coal jetties at the port four-fold to 24 million tonnes for Rs 800 crore. The pact will upgrade two coal jetties at VO Chidambaranar Port – Jetty I and II — from 6.25 MTPA (million tonne per annum) to 24 MTPA. “The VOCP Trust signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) for the upgradation of Coal Jetty I and II,” Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.
Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise, Government of Tamil Nadu, P Thangamani were present on the occasion. Gadkari said that the project would benefit both TANGEDCO and the VOCPT. “It would make coal handling by the jetties much more voluminous and efficient, and thus bring down logistics costs. This would also allow for cheaper production of electricity, which would be very beneficial for industrial growth,” he said.
With the upgradation of coal jetties, TANGEDCO will be able to handle additional volumes of coal cargo for the upcoming new power plants in Uppur and Kadaladi in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. In addition, there will be quicker turnaround of vehicles with the deployment of high tech handling equipment like two ship unloaders, each with a minimum 2,000 TPH capacity and a high capacity conveyor system of 4,000 TPH.
This enhancement of handling capacity and upgradation of infrastructure will result in reduction of logistics costs, the statement said. “TANGEDCO will therefore, be able to utilise the services of the port in a more cost-effective way. With the power generation from TANGEDCO’s Tuticorin plants being linked to the National Grid, this would enable availability of additional power at reduced costs, which, in turn, can fuel industrial growth and employment generation,” it said.
The project is the outcome of Ministry of Shipping’s Project Unnati, under which a study, ‘Unlocking National Ports Potential’ was done to improve the handling capacity of CJ-I & II. “The estimated cost for upgrading CJ-I & II is about Rs 800 crore,” the statement said. As per the MoU, initially Coal Jetty-I will be upgraded in about 24 months by constructing a new coal jetty while the second jettly will be upgraded thereafter.