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Sagarmala projects help VPA augment its infrastructure

Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA), which is celebrating seven years of the Sagarmala programme launched by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways has secured fourth rank among major ports by handling 69.03 million tonne during 2021-22.

Sagarmala projects help VPA augment its infrastructure

Sagarmala projects help VPA augment its infrastructure

Visakhapatnam Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA), which is celebrating seven years of the Sagarmala programme launched by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways has secured fourth rank among major ports by handling 69.03 million tonne during 2021-22 and hopes to increase its ranking with additional cargo for NMDC's Nagarnar in Chattisgarh and Anrak Aluminium Limited's alumina refinery near Visakhapatnam.

VPA Chairman K. Rama Mohana Rao while briefing how the Sagarmala project, said it is bringing about revolutionary changes in ensuring faster evacuation of cargo and reduction of logistics cost, said on Saturday that they have plans to handle more cargo from HPCL Visakh Refinery with the completion of its expansion project and other major clients. He said the plans to commission a container berth by a neighbouring private port would not make any major impact on them as they are fully geared up to be competitive globally.

VPA, earlier known as Visakhapatnam Port Trust, secured fourth rank after Deendayal (Kandla), Paradip and JNPT in terms of volume. Though there was an increase in steam coal and thermal coal containers, POL and crude, iron ore and pellets and coking coal registered decline compared to previous year. Reasons for decline in POL and crude are due to breakdown of one of the crude oil storage facilities at HPCL, iron ore and pellets owing to the price rise in the international market in lieu of lack of demand from China, coking coal import fell as the government encouraged domestic production under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Policy.

Rao elaborating on various projects, said VPA had awarded the project for construction of covered storage of size 400X40X17m including necessary drains, road and water supply at an estimated cost of Rs.36.38 crore. Project has been taken up by SDCL as SPV. Repair and rehabilitation of ORS jetty in the entrance channel of VPA has been undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs.21.47 crore.

Proposed construction of cruise-cum-coastal cargo terminal along with other infrastructure and amenities at Channel Berth area in Outer Harbour of VPA is in progress at a cost of Rs.96.05 crore. He said the cruise terminal will be ready within a year. The fishing harbour is being developed as a world-class harbour at a cost of Rs.150 crore with funds sanctioned by Government of India and VPA.

Upgrading of fire fighting facilities of OSTT(offshore tanker terminal) berth to accommodate capesize vessels with a DWT of over 1,00,000 DWT at a cost of Rs.32.05 crore is in progress. "Civil works started by the firm HITEK Engineering Services.

Mechanisation of WQ-7& 8 berths through PPP mode on DBFOT basis (capacity addition 6.14 MTPA) at an estimated cost of Rs.288.47 crore will commence soon with the proposed award of the project in May.

Briefing on projects completed during FY 2021-22 under Sagarmala, he said the Rs.633.11-crore expansion of container terminal by Visakha Container Terminal Private Limited (VCTPL) has been completed to increase capacity by 0.54 MTEUs.

Revamping of R&D yard to Railway standards by providing RRI for R&D yard and panel interlocking for individual cabins at VPA at an estimated cost of Rs.28.40 crore was completed last month.

Repairs/rehabilitation of LPG berth including mooring and breasting dolphins in the Outer Harbour at an estimated cost of Rs.4.39 crore was also completed last month.

The Chairman said the Central Government launched the Sagarmala programme on March 25t, 2015 with a view to achieve the broad objective of promoting port-led development in India. Though India is having 7,500 km long coastline, it transports only 6 percent of the cargo through waterways, compared to 55 percent through the road and 35 per cent through the rail network. Coastal and inland waterway transportation is energy efficient, eco-friendly and reduces logistics costs for domestic freight, he said adding coastal shipping can play a significant role in lowering the delivery cost of domestic thermal coal. It is estimated that for power plants located 800 to 1,000 km away from coal mines, the cost of coal logistics can contribute up to 35 percent of the cost of power.

Rao said the coastal power plants in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are currently receiving coal from Mahanadi Coalfields by Railways, but could save significantly by taking coal on the rail sea-rail (RSR) route. According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, India incurs an annual logistical cost of 16 per cent, whereas neighbouring China it is at 10 percent. India's exports would increase by one and a half

times if the country could bring down the logistical cost to below 10 percent.

The Chairman said as part of Sagarmala project's vision finalised by the ministry for achieving substantially reducing export/import and domestic trade costs with a minimal investment has already started a big difference.

Taking this cue, VPA has started the Total Logistic Solution (TLS) for TANGEDCO for coal transport from IB valley coalfields by Rail and from Visakhapatnam to Kamarajar port by sea.

Under the Sagarmala Programme, there are 802 projects pan India with an investment of Rs 5.54 lakh crore for implementation during 2015 to 2035.

Santosh Patnaik
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