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India ports: Cargo handling capacity of ports to rise in 2024


India’s cargo handling capacity at ports is expected to get a fillip from 2024 with commissioning of some facilities at Vizhinjam in Kerala and beginning of work at Vadhavan in Maharashtra.

The first stage of the Vizhinjam Port is nearing completion and it will serve as the country’s first mega transhipment container terminal, said officials. The port’s capacity in the first phase will be one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) or 24 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Capacity of Indian ports currently stands at 2,604.99 mtpa.

Requisite clearances for the Vadhavan Port are also expected soon. “All necessary approvals for the Vadhavan Port will be given by December 2023-end,” a senior government official told ET on condition of anonymity.

The Vadhavan Port, a major port, comes under the central government since it is being built by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority. It will boast an all-weather deep draft facility, aimed at reducing logistics cost. The new port is estimated to cost Rs 73,894 crore upon final commissioning and have a cargo handling capacity of around 300 mtpa by 2040.

The Vizhinjam Port, being developed by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone under public-private partnership model, is categorised as a non-major port since it is governed by the Kerala state government. Once commissioned, it will be India’s first transhipment hub, a facility that will allow transferring goods from larger ships to smaller ones.

This will be possible since Vizhinjam has 20 metres of natural water depth, allowing big mother ships to dock. The total cost of the port project is expected to be Rs 7,525 crore and the state government has contributed 500 acres of land. The port will provide large-scale automation for quick turnaround of vessels, with the ability to handle Megamax containerships.


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