Visakhapatnam Port Handles 60MT Cargo, Eyes Solar Power

Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA), under the leadership of Chairman M. Angamuthu, has achieved significant milestones in cargo handling and infrastructure development. With a focus on increasing efficiency and sustainability, VPA is poised to become a global leader in the maritime industry.

Cargo Handling Surpasses Expectations

As of December 31, 2023, VPA handled nearly 60 million tonnes of cargo, marking a substantial increase compared to the previous year. Chairman M. Angamuthu announced that by the end of the 2023-24 financial year, the figure is expected to surpass 80 million tonnes, setting a new record for the port.

The chairman emphasized that cargo handling has increased by approximately 9% compared to the same period last year. Additionally, pre-berthing detention period has reduced by 68%, turnaround time by 11%, and idle time at berth by 12%. Furthermore, VPA has seen a remarkable 42% improvement in its container business.

Expansion into Cruise Liner Operations

VPA is set to launch its international cruise terminal in Visakhapatnam, with plans to collaborate with prominent cruise liners. Talks are underway to establish routes connecting Vizag, Chennai, and Colombo, as well as exploring opportunities in Southeast Asian countries and linking them to Kolkata port. An MoU has been signed with Littoral Cruises Limited for the Chennai-Singapore route via Visakhapatnam, with an investment of ₹1,200 crore for cruise services connecting India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives.

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Transition to a Landlord Port and Infrastructure Development

With a vision to fully transform into a landlord port by 2030, VPA is adopting an asset-light model and offering projects on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis for the mechanization of berths. The port aims to handle about 75% of its total throughput through PPP terminals in the next five years, eventually progressing towards 100% handling through PPP terminals by 2030.

As part of its infrastructure development, VPA is focusing on enhancing the rail network and inland shipping to reduce reliance on roads. Plans include increasing the railway network’s capacity to handle cargo movement from 25% to 60% and boosting coastal shipping from 22% to 30%.

To ensure smooth traffic flow from the port to NH-16, VPA and NHAI are collaborating on the widening of existing four-lane roads to 10-lane roads from Convent Junction to Sheelanagar, with a projected cost of ₹501.65 crore. This initiative is expected to be completed within two years.

Sustainable Energy and Green Initiatives

In a concerted effort towards sustainability, VPA is committed to achieving carbon neutrality and becoming the first port to run entirely on solar power. The installation and operation of a 10 MW solar power plant have enabled the port to achieve self-sustainability in its energy requirements, with plans for an additional 15 MW solar power generation in the pipeline.

Furthermore, VPA has dedicated efforts to develop greenery in the port vicinity, planting a staggering 5,65,500 trees on 650 acres of land. This initiative aligns with the port’s commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable practices.

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Towards Maritime Excellence

Chairman M. Angamuthu emphasized VPA’s adherence to the Maritime India vision and expressed confidence that by 2047, the port will be on par with the world’s leading ports in terms of cargo handling, environmental stewardship, and overall operational excellence.

With these strategic initiatives and progressive developments, VPA is poised to redefine the maritime landscape and contribute significantly to India’s maritime prominence and sustainability.