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Adani’s Vizhinjam Port bags nod to run as a first Transshipment Hub in India

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : After receiving the approval for being declared as a Customs-notified port earlier this week, Vizhinjam Port has received approval from the Ministry to operate as India’s first transshipment port. Current regulations require the shipping ministry’s nod to prevent competing projects from being permitted before capacity at operational ports is saturated.

“This approval paves the way for customs to set up an office at Vizhinjam port. It will be India’s first full-fledged deepwater transshipment port,’ said a government official. However, the final nod from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is expected to come in the next quarter, he said.

A transshipment port is a crucial hub where cargo is transferred from one big vessel to several smaller ones before they reach the final port of discharge. It will now help India in its ambition to become a manufacturing hub.

Approximately 75 per cent of India’s transshipment cargo is currently processed at ports overseas, with destinations such as Colombo, Singapore, and Klang handling about 85 per cent of this cargo.

The Vizhinjam Port project is located in Kerala and was started in 2015.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) started the international transshipment project in Vizhinjam, Kerala in December 2015. Initially, the deadline of 2045 was fixed when the project was in the initial stages. It is possible that the second and third phases are completed by 2028.

It’s estimated that approximately 75% of India’s transshipment cargo is managed at ports located beyond its borders. Specifically, ports in Colombo, Singapore, and Klang handle approximately 85% of this cargo. The objective of the project is to secure a portion of the processing for over a million containers in India, which typically transit annually through foreign ports like those in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

As per APSEZ, the port boasts extensive automation to ensure swift vessel turnaround, alongside cutting-edge infrastructure tailored for handling Megamax containerships—the largest vessels presently in operation worldwide. Initially, its capacity in the first phase is set at 1 million TEUs, with plans to augment this with an additional 6.2 million TEUs in subsequent phases.

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