The Vizhinjam port project is set to become the biggest transhipment container terminal in the country, expanding its berthing capacity for vessels up to 18,020 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units). This would mean the port, once it becomes operational, will be able to handle berth requirements of some of the world's largest vessels, giving it an edge over ports like Colombo and Dubai.
These are some of the highlights of the 125-page master plan for Vizhinjam port that got the approval of the director board of Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited last week.
The other proposals include an exclusive 250 meter-long oil bunking facility, where long haul vessels travelling along the east-west sea route can refuel, and an 850-meter modern fishing harbour twice the size of the existing one.
A copy of the master plan has been given to International Finance Corporation, which is doing the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study. "Once the Detailed Project Report (DPR) is completed, the EIA report along with master plan and DPR will be submitted to the state pollution control board for public hearing. The final report will be then submitted to the union ministry of environment and forest for clearance,'' an official said.
Vizhinjam is touted as the first green port in the country introducing several parameters to reduce carbon footprints. It will have a quay length of 2,000 meters to be constructed in three phases. The terminal superstructure will be built by a private operator who will also operate and maintain it for 30 years.
The Rs 4,010 crore port will have dedicated rail and road connectivity to transport goods and the master plan, designed by Aecom constulant in consultation with port authorities, has included a modern fishing harbour with amenities like berthing facilities for fishing boats and hygienic auction hall.