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First Cape Size vessel Sails into VPT

VIS Correspondent

Visakhapatnam: In a major achievement for the Visakhapatnam port trust, the first ever Cape size vessel ‘Mv NGM SAILOR’ with a bulk cargo carrying capacity of 1.6 lakh MT called at VPT on the 10th of this month.
This was made possible with an outer harbour draft of 20 meters.
Speaking to media persons at VGCB’s (Vizag General Cargo Berth) fully mechanized coal handling terminal where the cape size vessel was berthed Mr DK Manral, CEO VGCB said ‘Dredging of the outer harbour was a long, difficult, tedious and time consuming job which was completed by VPT in record time’.
He further added that with an outer draft of 20 meters VPT becomes one of India’s deepest harbours.
The fully mechanized coal handling terminal built by VGCB at a cost of Rs 680 crores is said to be paramount in catering to the discharge of cargo from these cape size vessels.
And with India’s primary energy demand still being heavily based on coal the import of coal is slated to grow to double digits.
‘VGCB is all set to help VPT regain its lost glory’ said an animated Mr Manral. He went onto say that his terminal has a capacity of 20 Million Tonnes of coal discharge and advocated for a total stop of Manual handling of coal.
He expects 2 cape size vessels to call every month.
Identifying space as a significant hurdle the CEO of VGCB said that they currently have 25 acres but are in need of an additional 40 acres.
This vessel coming in from Indonesia with a full Ukrainian crew was 289 meters in length brought in coal for NTPC’s plant in Ramagundam in Simhadri. The vessel had 9 hatches with a bulk carrying capacity of 36K tonnes in each.
Cape size vessels usually range with a carrying capacity of 1.2 lakh tonnes to 2 lakh tonnes i.e. 3 times the carrying capacity of a Supramax vessel and are equipped to carry any type of bulk cargo.
An estimated savings of $2 per tonne would be made possible with the coming of cape size vessels said a source from the shipping community.
It might be surprising to know that cape size vessels have already been calling at minor ports such as Gangavaram and Krishnapatnam however its initial call at VPT happened this month.
VGCB later announced that the vessel discharged 108050 Metric Tonnes in 24 hours and left the port in 50 hours.
(aditya@viscan.in)

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