Visakhapatnam Port trust recorded cargo handling of 32.77 million tonnes during the first half of this fiscal.
Albeit a decline of 1.98 million tonnes compared to the same period last year this is still noteworthy keeping in mind the significant impact Covid-19 has had on the economy.
In fact, in terms of the cargo handled by all the 12 major ports in the country, they declined by 16.5% during April to September 2020.
The dozen major ports of the country handled volumes of 245 million tonnes compared to 294 million tonnes handled during the same period last year.
‘Percentage of decline in respect of VPT is less than the decline registered by all major ports put together’ said VPT’s chairman Mr. Rama Mohan Rao, IAS addressing the media on the H1 results.
Some of the commodities that saw an increase included Iron ore & pellets which saw an increase of 31%, Thermal coal, fertilizers, and raw materials, finished steel.
Iron ore growth was due to an increase in imports from China while finished steel growth was due to demand from China, South Korea, and Japan.
Commodities that saw a decline consisted of petroleum, oil, and lubricants which declined by 15%, coking coal, steam coal, etc.
It was further informed that the Permissible draft of Panamax vessels has been increased from 14 meters to 14.5 meters for navigation during the night and that the Permissible beam of the vessel increased from 32.5 meters to 38 meters in the inner harbor. Development of Cruise Terminal at a cost of Rs.77 crores is also being taken up and will be awarded after obtaining Environment Clearance.
VPT Clarifies on Handling Ammonium Nitrate:
- VPT is designated to handle fertilizer grade of Ammonium Nitrate in bagged form
- VPT allows import strictly on obtaining necessary clearances from the statutory agencies
- Import is allowed in bags on the condition that the cargo will be taken delivery immediately from berth and no storage is provided at VPT
- VPT has prepared a 29-point checklist/actionable points which are strictly complied by the importers
- A fire tender is deployed at the berth while handling the cargo
- The berth is kept in a clean condition leaving no scope for any contamination and eventuality
Container terminal Extension to be completed in 2021
Visakhapatnam Port trust’s extension of the container terminal is slated to be completed in the next year.
‘Extension of existing container terminal awarded at an estimated cost of Rs.633 crores is progressing well and will be completed in 2021’ said the Chairman VPT.
The extension of the terminal will enable an additional capacity of 5.4 lakh TEUs.
Container trade for the first half of this fiscal witnessed a growth in its exports wherein it handled 2.54 lakh TEUs when compared to 2.34 lakhs TEUs during the same period last year thus marking a growth of 9%.
‘Container Exports growth was due to an increase in Agri products’ said the chairman.
Container Imports however declined by 27% as it handled 1.57 lakh TEUs in the first 6 months compared to 2.15 lakh TEUs in April-Sept 2019.
The Visakha Container Terminal Private Limited is a joint venture between the JM Baxi group and DP world.
The container terminal in fact had crossed the half a million TEUs mark for the first time in March 2020.