V.O.Chidambaranar Port in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, plans to emerge as a transhipment hub by expanding its container handling capacity to 4 million TEUs per annum.
V.O.Chidambaranar Port Authority has sought expression of interest from interested firms to build two container terminals in the port’s outer harbour.
To become a transhipment hub that can compete with Colombo and Singapore, V.O.Chidambaranar Port Authority (VOCPA) has sought expression of interest (EoI) from interested firms to build two container terminals in the port’s outer harbour.
The project majorly involves the construction of breakwater, the creation of a backup yard, berth/jetty construction, mechanisation in the berth and stackyard, railway line laying, navigational aids, capital dredging in the Outer Harbour basin and approach channel, construction of Rubble bund for reclamation of dredged materials etc.
The approximate total value for the execution of the above infrastructure of Outer Harbour is estimated to be Rs 7,200 crore, which includes a breakwater cost of Rs 1,020 crore, the berth construction cost of Rs 760 crore, yard development and other shore facilities of Rs 580 crore, mechanisation cost of Rs 3,230 crore, dredging cost of Rs 1,390 crore (for 16m draught), and contingencies and PMC cost of Rs 220 crore.
The Outer Harbour container development capacity will be four Million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year.
Potential To Be A Global Transhipment Hub
V.O.Chidambaranar Port, strategically close to the East-West International sea routes on the southeastern coast, is one of the 12 Major Ports in India and the second-largest port in Tamil Nadu.
The VOCPA was declared a Major Port by the Government of India in July 1974.
The port is an artificial harbour protected by two breakwaters and is connected to deep water by a dredged channel. The port has a handling capacity of around 70 Million Tonnes per annum (MTPA) with 16 berths, including two container berths.
According to the EoI document, the traffic forecast study has shown that the future traffic growth at VOCPA depends majorly on container traffic and has the potential to convert into a global transhipment hub.
The port has recorded consistent growth in container traffic in recent years. In the last four years, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21, VOCPA handled container traffic of 6.92 lakhs TEUs, 7.39 lakhs TEUs, 8.04 lakhs TEUs and 7.62 lakhs TEU, respectively.
“This will be basically India’s answer to Colombo port. It will be a major container port, competing with Colombo, Singapore etc, the likes of which India has never seen before,” a port official told The Economic Times regarding the container terminal development plans of VOCPA.