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Visakhapatnam, Jan 26

The Visakhapatnam port has so far handled 54.7 million tonnes (mt) of cargo during the current financial year till now, one million tonnes more than last year, according to Mr Ajeya Kallam, the port Chairman.

At a Republic Day function here on Wednesday, he told the employees that 417 mt of cargo had been handled by the end of December by all the major ports in the country including Vizag's share of 49.8 mt.

He said the Union Shipping Ministry had set a target of 70 mt for the port for the current fiscal and it may cross 66 mt.

He attributed the likely shortfall to constraints such as the shutdown of one of the major units of the HPCL refinery here for maintenance work.

He said in the current year the port was ahead in import of crude and POL products and fertilisers and also in container traffic.

Nine projects

Mr Kallam said the port was taking up nine major projects under the public-private partnership mode to augment its capacity and face the future challenges. He said the port could obtain clearance for 8 PPP projects and

“So far we have awarded concession to three projects - for WQ 6, EQ 10 and for upgradation and mechanisation of coal handling facilities at the general cargo berth to cater to 2,00,000 DWT vessels.” These projects may be commissioned by the end of 2012.

Mr Kallam said that for the development of EQ-1 and EQ-1A berths the projects may be awarded next month and installation of mechanical fertiliser handling facilities at EQ-7 would be finalised during February. For the development of WQ-7 and WQ-8 berths with mechanised handling facilities and for mechanised handling facilities at WQ-1 berth for iron ore, the projects may be awarded within the next four months.

Two more tugs of 50 tonne capacity a piece would be received by July this year and two had already been commissioned, he said. The capacity of the port would go up by another 40 mt in the next two or three years, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 27, 2011)
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