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About Vizhinjam


Vizhinjam is a coastal Town in Capital City of Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram), South India.       Vizhinjam, ‘Port of the Future’ is located at 8021’N and 770 0’ E on the west coast of India

  Vizhinjam is just on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), 16 km away from the City Centre and 1 km away from the City Limits, but located within the Trivandrum Metropolitan City area.

  The areas in and around Vizhinjam are known for its world class Ayurvedic treatment centers and Internationally acclaimed Beach Resorts. There is a small sea port in Vizhinjam. Kovalam(a tourist destination) beach is only 3kms away from Vizhinjam. Rock Cut Cave is about 17kms from the city. It is a historic spot which was left unnoticed for long time. There are rock cut sculptures of the 18th century in the cave temple. The granite cave here encloses a one cell shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinandhara Dakshnimurthi. 

Vizhinjam is a natural port, which is located close to the international ship route. So it is expected that at least 50% of the nearly 20,000 ships that pass through the Suez canal (per annum) will anchor at Vizhinjam Port. It is expected that with the functioning of Vizhinjam port in its full swing, the ports of Colombo, Singapore and Dubai might face serious competitor from India. This will boost the trade and commercial activities not only in Kerala but also to entire India. It is estimated that India could save more than a 100 million U.S dollars a year in terms of foreign exchange.

Studies conducted at Vizhinjam have shown that there is a natural depth of up to 23 metres.A port constructed here could easily accommodate ships with displacements of up to 300,000 tons, with little or no dredging. Compare this with the fact that most of the current ports are hard pressed to accommodate ships of even 200,000 tons even after massive dredging. A comparatively scant 5-6 metres of dredging at Vizhinjam means that it could accommodate even the biggest ship in the world, with a whopping displacement of more than 564,000 tons! Basically this means that the Vizhinjam port can handle supertankers and the biggest container mother ships with ease.

This also opens up avenues for bunkering (re-fueling) of ships as well as ship-repair. Between three and six container berths here could serve as a starting point for an international trans-shipment hub. Consider that Colombo alone currently handles over 1.5 million containers a year, and it has actually run out of capacity! The container traffic into and out of Indian ports has sharply increased to over 2.5 million units today. The trans-shipment market is clear and wide open. On the crude transshipment front, a land based transshipment facility with a storage complex and docking piers, will reduce turn around time for ships as well result in a significant fall in the import price of crude passing through here. We also have to remember that crude oil is India's single biggest import and that the Vizhinjam site lies very close to the main Persian Gulf - Far East shipping lanes used by most supertankers. Finally, Vizhinjam has yet another ace up its sleeve in the fact that it requires very little maintenance dredging, due to its sheltered location. Similarly, unlike East coast ports or those in Gujarat, the Kerala coast suffers comparatively little disruption from cyclone activity.

As India now did not have ports that deep, goods were being transported on smaller ships to India. The port is supposed to be 150 metres in width. About 250-275 hectares (600 to 700 acres) would be made available through reclamation of the sea. The port would have two breakwaters of 1.5 km and 6 km with harbour basin and wharfs. There would be about 30 berths, most of which would be capable of handling Mother Vessels. There was high potential for a new port as India needs additional capacity in the coming years. Thus Vizhinjam port has very high importance from this point of view. The port handling capacity is envisaged to be 4.1 million TEU/annum at the completion of the Project and would cater to 12000 TEU vessels.

An investment of atleast Rs 2000 crores will be required while overall project completion time will be about 3 years. Such a venture will require a range of clearances from the Central and State Governments. The Kerala Government believes so and is quite optimistic about its dream project: Developing Vizhinjam into a world-class port. However, it is often claimed that powerful lobby groups often impede the progress of the project, as they fear it would erode the revenue of their own port operations. Let us hope at least this time, the project takes off. It is one development which could make a very significant contribution to India's economic progress in the coming years.

 

Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL)
 

Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) was incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 on 15.12.2004. The main object of the company is to provide external support infrastructure such as road / rail connectivity, water and power supply for the proposed port, besides overseeing the implementation of the port project by the private developer. The company will also be responsible for addressing other development needs like special economic zone, logistic centre, free trade zone & warehousing zone and allied activities. .

Board of Directors

1. Shri. V.S. Achuthanandan, Chief Minister - Chairman
2. Shri. M. Vijayakumar, Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs, Sports and Youth Affairs and Ports - Vice-chairman
3. Dr. Thomas Isaac, Minister for Finance - Director
4. Shri. S. Sarma, Minister for Fisheries and Registration - Director
5. Shri. N.K. Premachandran, Minister for Water Resources - Director
6. Smt. Lizzie Jacob, Chief Secretary - Director
7. Shri. L. Radhakrishnan, Secretary (Ports) - Director


The operations of the company are headed by a Chief Executive Officer. Shri. L. Radhakrishnan IAS, Secretary to Government (Ports) is currently handling full additional charge of Chief Executive Officer.


Source: Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL), http://www.vizport.org