Port Wings News Network:
Considering the increasing trend of container cargo traffic in the port in comparison with previous years and demand for facility to handle mainline container vessel, V.O. Chidambaranar Port has initiated action for maintenance dredging from 18 October 2018 (under phase I) and is expected to increase the depth in the dock basin of the Port to 15.50m and the approach channel to 16.50m to handle fully laden Panamax size vessels with a draft of up to 14.5 mtr within a period of two months.
At present Port Trust is handling container vessels upto (-) 13.5 mtr draught with LOA upto 310 mtr and dry bulk vessels upto (-) 14.00 mtr draught.
Considering the growing demand for bigger size Container / Dry Bulk vessels of draft 16.00 mtr and to attract the transshipment traffic, the Port has proposed to increase the depth of the inner harbour to (-) 16.70 mtr and approach channel to (-)18.0 mtr.
In addition, it has been decided to increase the width of the entrance channel from existing 153 m to 230 m after taking necessary measures to ensure tranquility inside the basin. The Phase –II dredging is planned to be completed by June 2021.
DEVELOPMENT OF COASTAL EMPLOYMENT UNIT (CEU) AT VOC PORT TRUST, TUTICORIN
Ministry of Shipping has directed VOC Port Trust to develop Coastal Employment Unit (CEU) under ‘Sagarmala’ Programme with an objective to create Port based industries and to generate employment in the region.
VOCPT has appointed a consultant namely Price Waterhouse Coopers Pvt Ltd (PWC) with a scope to prepare master plan, to identify prospective industries and to attract investment to a tune of minimum Rs.500 crores by leasing Port land. The consultant has indentified net available area 244.58 acres of Port land in Phase I for development of CEU.
The consultant has submitted the inception report on 17 July 2018 wherein it has mentioned that many industries like Auto components, food processing, apparels and non metallic mineral processing have shown keen interest in setting up their industries.
Also, the consultant has indicated approximate price of Rs.30 Lakhs per acre for 99 years lease for undeveloped land as upfront premium and Rs.70 Lakhs per acre for developed land. As per the initial response shown by various industries, the proposed CEU is expected to generate 11,000 direct employment and 20,000 indirect employment.
PROMOTIONAL MEASURES TAKEN BY VOCPT FOR INCREASING CONTAINER TRAFFIC:
The permissible draft of Container Vessels increased from 11.50m to 13.50m; LOA from 230m to 310m and beam from 32.26m to 48m w.e.f. 01 October 2018. This has been done following the simulation study made by Wallingford institute, UK.
The maintenance dredging is expected to commence from 18 October 2018. After completion of the maintenance dredging, the draft will increase upto 14.5m in the deep draft berths which will enable to receive fully laden Panamax size vessel as well as container vessels with the capacity of 9500 TEUs.
Further, the port has offered 50% concession in Vessel Related Charges for mainline vessels to call at VOC Port.
Besides, the port has extended 15 days free storage period for clearance of containers moved by rail (ICD or non-ICD) facilitating the movement of containers by Rail in the Port w.e.f 16 August 2018.