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i-maritime News Service

‘Customs Area' okay is green signal for Kattupalli port operations - 2012-06-04

The Department of Customs has declared Kattupalli minor port as a ‘Customs Area'. This paves the way for the port, which is operated by L&T Shipbuilding Ltd, to start container terminal operations. The clearance from Customs has been pending for some time now.

This delayed the official opening up of the port, which was supposed to have started operations in April. However, with the Customs' clearance, the commissioning of the port is expected any time, said sources. The Customs' order says that the facility is declared as a ‘Customs Area' for the purpose of unloading of imported goods in containers for transhipment and loading of goods transhipped in containers for export.

The port is coming up adjacent to the Ennore port with an initial investment of over Rs 2,000 crore. Larsen & Toubro along with Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation formed a joint venture company, L&T Shipbuilding Ltd, to develop a ship building yard-cum-minor port complex at Kattupalli. This was to enable the domestic ship building industry to build a flotilla for the Navy and the Coast Guard.

Since a stand-alone shipyard cannot sustain a large-scale investment for a breakwater supported harbour, the State Government has also permitted the company to handle other commercial cargo in line with the Minor Ports Development Policy. The port facilities comprise 1.5-km long northern breakwater, 3-km long southern breakwater, 5-km long navigational channel to a depth of 15 metres and other harbour-related infrastructure. The port will handle containers, which will be operated by the Manila-based International Container Terminal Service, and also build offshore platforms, besides meeting the requirement of the Defence.

In April 2011, International Container and L&T signed a container port operation agreement to manage, operate the Kattupalli International Container Terminal.

Source : Hindu Business Line