The V.O. Chidambaranar Port at Tuticorin has gone in for capacity augmentation to handle coal, copper concentrates, rock phosphate etc., and has cleared the construction of four berths for the purpose. According to Port Chairman S. Natarajan, the Ministry of Shipping has indicated the requirement of coal to be handled by the port as 242.16 lakh tonnes by 2014-15 and 300 lakh tonnes by 2019-20.
At the north cargo berth (NCB), coal would be transported to the Neyveli Thermal Power Plant through conveyors, raising the port’s capacity by 6.30 million tonnes a year (mtpa). As for NCB-II, construction is in progress and it would be completed by March 2014 with a capacity of 7.20 mtpa. Works are in progress to develop NCB - III at an estimated cost of Rs 420 crore under the public-private partnership, raising the capacity to 9.15 mtpa. NCB-IV is to be developed at an estimated cost of Rs.355 crore and the construction is expected to be completed by June 15.