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Vizag port confident to touch 80 MT mark: Aims for record growth and sustainability in 2023-24

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VISAKHAPATNAM : Visakhapatnam Port will emerge as number one port among major ports in the country, said Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA) Chairman Mr. M Angamuthu.

Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, he said that the port, in its 90 years of history, is expecting to achieve 80 million tonnes of cargo handling in the current financial year against 74 million tonnes in the last financial year. He further informed that by the end of the third quarter of the current year, the port had crossed 60 million tonnes of cargo handling.

Stating that the port is planning to make the city a global stage by developing the state-of-the-art Vizag International Cruise Terminal (VICT), the VPA chairman said that VPA has been striving to expand cruise tourism to more sectors, including Vizag-Colombo for which it has already in consultations with various cruise liners.

Littoral Cruises Limited signed an MoU for the Chennai to Singapore via Visakhapatnam cruise. Further, Littoral has plans to run a cruise service connecting India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives with Rs 1,200 crore investment. The port is planning to encourage cruise operators to include VICT in their itineraries and also outsource the operation of cruise the terminal,” he said.

Speaking about the developments in cargo handling, Mr. Angamuthu said that to provide hassle-free flow of traffic from port to NH-16, VPA and NHAI have taken up the widening of existing four-lane roads to 10-lane roads from Convent junction to Sheelanagar for Rs 501.65 crore. The work has been awarded by NHAI and will be completed in 24 months, he explained.

Stating that the VPA has been handling cargo to and from Vizag to more than 75 countries, he said that the port has been focusing on container cargo transport. “The container growth has been impressive in the current year compared to last year. Port has withdrawn priority berth hire charges, extending concession on vessel related charges up to 70 per cent and additional 10 per cent rebate on VRC for encouraging transhipment are some of the measures taken by the port.”

Informing that the terminal operator JM Baxi and VPA are jointly conducting customer meetings to attract potential customers, the Mr. Angamuthu said that a new container liner service, IFX-2, was launched in the current year. “The Visakha Container Terminal is evolving as a regional transhipment hub on the east coast of India with containers from Kolkata/Haldia, Paradip, Chittagong and Yangon getting transhipped at VPA,” he said.

Stating that VPA has the distinction of becoming a green port due to various initiatives taken, he said that the port achieved self-sustainability in its energy requirement by installing and operating a 10 MW solar power plant. Another 15 MW solar power generation is in the pipeline, he added.

VPA is the leading port in marine products export with a share of 26.36 per cent. “In FY 2022-23, the port shipped 2.64 lakh metric tonnes of marine products worth Rs 16,877 crore. To further enhance the marine products exports, the port is modernising the fishing harbour under PMMSY with an investment of Rs 150 core and the works are in progress,” Angamuthu said.

Referring to the massive fire that broke out at the fishing harbour on November 19, he said all fire tenders in the city, including VPA fire tenders, relentlessly worked and extinguished the fire without any casualties. “The boats’ debris after the fire accident were salvaged by the port under Sagarmala Coastal Community Development,” he said and added that following modernisation of three berths under the PPP the port is likely to handle about 75 per cent of the total throughput through PPP terminals and by the end of 2030, VPA is likely to inch towards 100 per cent handling through PPP terminals in addition to captive cargo from PSUs and captive customers.

Stating that Littoral Cruises Limited signed an MoU for the Chennai to Singapore via Visakhapatnam cruise terminal, VPA chairman M Angamuthu said that Littoral has plans to run a cruise service connecting India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives with Rs 1,200 crore investment

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