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VCTPL bets big on expansion

A.K.Sabharwal

The recent relaxation of the cabotage law in the country has given a much needed impetus to container terminals across the country.
The law which prevented foreign ships from carrying containers along the Indian coast was granted the long anticipated permission to carry empty containers along the country’s coast line without having to get a license from DG Shipping.
This news is particularly significant for a container port like Vizag which is an import deficit port. Vizag has traditionally being an export surplus port wherein there have been shortages on empty containers. However with the recent relaxation by the ministry of shipping this relaxation has proved to be a boon for the local shipping industry.
Vizag’s container terminal, VCTPL, which is jointly operated by the JM Baxi group and DP world is all set to start construction for the extension of its facility.
Albeit delayed by couple of years owing to various circumstances, construction of this extension is slated to start this October 2018. ‘The VPT board has given extension to VCTPL and once financial closure is achieved we will give them the work order to commence the construction work’ stated Dy Chairman, VPT, Mr Harnath.
Being the first port in the country to receive AEO certification from Indian customs VCTPL had won the tender for the extension of its facility with a proposed investment of Rs 800-1000 crores.
With fierce competition from neighboring ports speculations were rife if VCTPL’s top management would be inclined to make such a huge investment going forward. However these rumors were negated when Mr Krishna Bhai Kotak, the president of the VCTPL group of companies, cleared any ambiguity on the upcoming extension work of the terminal.
‘We are very optimistic on the expansion of this efficient facility and are well on our way of achieving 1.5 million TEUs in the near future’ said Mr Kirshna Bhai Kotak. Vizag has a unique locational advantage and growth is assured here he said. Mr Kotak further added that VPT has always given utmost support and importance to the expansion of this project and that VCTPL’s management is appreciative of that.
It may be recalled that Adani who had earlier receded its berth operations here have since re-started operations last month in lieu of support of VPT.
VCTPL is all set to touch a key milestone of 500,000 TEUs this fiscal. VCTPL which also handles a substantial cargo for Nepal is equally optimistic of an upswing in EXIM prospects of ferro alloys, steel, coal, fruits etc.
Located on the East Coast of India, VCTPL caters to the vast hinterland of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and MP.
Vizag’s Member of Parliament of the BJP, Mr. Hari Babu, has been making relentless efforts to get clearances from Central Government to permit handling of all types of cargo from VPT/VCTPL.

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