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Vizag port handles 21 million tonnes of cargo - 2012-08-20

Visakhapatnam Port handled 21 million tonnes of cargo till Wednesday as against 24 mt during the corresponding period of the previous financial year, according to Ajeya KallamPort Chairman.

He was reviewing the performance of the port on the occasion of the Independence Day after hoisting the national flag. He said the decline in import of iron ore by China and decline in transhipment cargo consequent on setting up of SPM facility at Paradip port were the reasons for the slight slump in cargo. Some of the berths were de-commissioned during the year for modernisation and that also led to fall in throughput.

“It is, however, only a passing phase,” he said.

The port had handled 67.42 mt of cargo during 2011-12 and stood second among the major ports in the country. In general, there was a decline of 2 per cent in the total volume of major ports in the country during 2011-12 due to global slowdown, he said.

The trend was continuing in the current financial year and there had been a slump of 5 per cent in cargo volumes, he added.

Ongoing projects

Kallam said the port had taken up many projects to increase its capacity and to modernise facilities. The strengthening of the general cargo berth to handle the bigger ships of 2,00,000 DWT was on fast-track and it may be completed in a month or two. The fully-mechanised coal handling facility was designed to achieve higher output rates and also to curb pollution levels in the port and surrounding areas.

Development of WQ-6 berth for handling multi cargoes and EQ-10 for handling liquid cargoes in the inner harbour were progressing according to schedule, he said. Concession agreements were signed for installation of mechanised handling facilities at EQ-7 for fertiliser handling, development of EQ-1 berth for unloading steam coal and EQ-1A for handling thermal coal and steam coal.

Approval from the Government was received last week for development of WQ-7 with mechanised handling facilities and for mechanisation of iron ore facility at WQ-1 in the inner harbour. Three more proposals — construction of WQ-8 for handling all cargoes, extension of existing container terminal and upgrading of ore handling facilities in the outer harbour — were being actively pursued, he added.

Deepening of five of the existing berths in the inner harbour had been completed and two new 50-tonne tugs had been received from the Hindusthan Shipyard Ltd recently, he said.

With the above projects, more than 85 per cent of the cargo-handling would be mechanised.

On the occasion, he presented an award to Esskay Shipping for record loading of 29,169 tonnes of iron ore pellets into m.v Malavika for Essar Steel Ltd.

Source : Hindu Business Line