Logistics

Vizag port achieves Ministry's target: Chairman

Ch.R.S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 01, 2017

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The Visakhapatnam port has achieved the target of 61 million tonnes cargo set by the Shipping Ministry for 2016-17 financial year, roughly growing by 7 per cent over last year's figure of 57 million tonnes.

At a media conference here on Saturday evening, Chairman M.T Krishnababu said that due to vigorous efforts the port could attract 2 million tonnes of additional cargo from new customers despite facing stiff competition from neighbouring private ports.

He said the port handled 11.42 million tonnes of iron ore and pellets as against 5.98 million tonnes last year and a record quantity of 6.43 million tonnes of container cargo as against the previous record of 5.15 million tonnes in 2015-16. "A record number of 3.67 lakh TEUs of container cargo was handled as against 2.93 lakh TEUs in 2015-16," he added.

However, he said, there was slump in steam coal (4 million tonnes) as against 8 million tonnes the previous year and also coking coal (4.3 million tonnes) as against 5 million tonnes. A record quantity of 10.17 lakh tonnes of gypsum was handled against 7.60 lakh tonnes the previous year.

Wheat imports started at the port after a lapse of nearly a decade, he said. A quantity of 4.17 lakh tonnes of wheat was imported from Russia, Ukraine and Australia. "We want to concentrate on clean cargo and reduce the dirty cargo as far possible. Even while handling dirty cargo we are taking all pollution control measures and adopting the latest technologies to keep pollution within the prescribed limits," he said.

He said there were ongoing projects worth Rs 2,000 crores in the port and after the completion of these projects in the next few years its capacity and efficiency would further improve, enabling to compete with private non-major ports.

Krishnababu said Visakhapatnam was the first port in the country to establish 10 MW solar power plant and it had been synchoronised with the State grid.

He said the port was spending Rs 2 crores on corporate social responsibility projects and clarified, in response to a query, that there was no plan to close down the port hospital or privatise it. "The existing assets of the port such as land would be made better use of by monetising them," he said.

He expressed the view that the Major Ports Authority Bill in Parliament would give greater autonomy to the boards of major ports and enable them to compete better with private ports.

Published on April 01, 2017
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