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Visakhapatnam port to emerge as among leaders in the east coast

Visakhapatnam Port is all set to handle 85 million tons of cargo in the nexrt two years from the current level of 63 million tons according to the Port Chairman M T Krishnababu.

Reviewing the performance of the port during the financial year 2017-18, he said the port handled 63.54 million tons as against 61.02 million tons during the previous financial year, registering 4 per cent growth rate.

Handling of Coking coal and steam coal have gone up and thermal coal and iron ore have declined, but the overall performance has been satisfactory in spite of stiff competition from the neighboring private ports,” he said and added that the target for the current financial year is 68 million tons.

He said the port, which was in the fifth position among the major ports last year, had now risen to the fourth, with Deendayal Port Kandla, Paradip and JNPT being ahead of it.

Visakhapatnam Port’s operating income amounted to Rs. 1,078 crores during 2017-18 as against Rs. 917 crores the previous year and the operating surplus Rs. 538 crores as against Rs. 385 crores in 2016-17. The net surplus was Rs. 250 crores as against Rs. 45 crores.

The projects are on the whole going on very well and we foresee no major hurdles. After the completion of these projects, the capacity of the port will rise to 133 million tonand we are aiming at 85-90 million tons of cargo by 2020-21, which is quite acceptable,” he said.

He said the port had spent Rs. 250 crores on its own projects and roughly Rs. 600 crores had been spent on the PPP projects during the year.

“The Essar iron ore handling complex (OHC) (Rs. 600 crores) was commissioned during the year and two berths have been completed on the west quay and two more will be completed during the current year. Once we get the environmental clearance, we will begin work on oil berths (OR -1 and OR -2),” he said.

He said that for the first time the port was contemplating covered storage facility for bulk cargo, the main stay of the port, and it had appointed a consultant.“We are planning storage and handling facility for 2.5 lakh tons of cargoes, at a rough cost of Rs. 125 crores or so, in 20 acres. Studies are underway,” he said.

Under the Sagarmala programme,  the port had sent proposals to the Ministry for five major projects at a cost of Rs. 2,000 crores and the detailed project reports were getting ready. In-principle clearance has been given to these projects.

 

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