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Nod for construction of fresh oil berths at Visakhapatnam port likely soon

The prospects of securing clearance for the reconstruction of the sixty year-old  Oil berths in Visakhapatnam port from the pollution angle appeared bright as both the stakeholders and members of public gave a positive response at the statutory hearing conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board last week.

In his opening remarks at the public hearing, the Port Chairman Mr. MT. Krishnababu said the two existing on berths in the Port OR 1 and OR 2 were constructed way back in 1957 and they have outlived their life and utility (Life being fixed at fifty years) and therefore need to be demolished. Two fresh berths need to be constructed with a capacity to handle 9.81 million tons of crude per year. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 193 Crores.

He said the two berths in the inner harbor were at present handling naphtha, Petrol, SRO, high speed diesel, LSHS and other POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants ) products. The state owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation has a mega refinery at Visakhapatnam.

A representative of the Ultra-Tech Consulting Agency, which prepared the environment assessment impact report, said there would not be any significant pollution in the demolition and reconstruction of the berths and all precautions would be taken to mitigate whatever little pollution the process may cause. The Port was ready with oil spill contingency plans also in the operation of the new berths. The project would have no adverse impact on the fishing activity at the port, he added.

Mr.K.V Krishna Kumar, the president of the Visakhapatnam Stevedores' Association, Mr. G. Sambasiva Rao, Managing Director of Sravan Shipping, Mr. R. Kishore, the CEO of Visakhapatnam Seaports Limited and other stakeholders spoke about the need for construction of new oil berths.

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