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Advantages of Vizhinjam Port

Proposed project aims to fulfill the need of providing Transshipment on Indian Coast (at present there is no existing Container Transshipment Terminal in India to cater to this need. Annual Container Traffic close to 4 Million TEUs is currently originating or destined to India through Sea route with CAGR of 14% during the last decade).

Vizhinjam is an all-weather port and the international shipping line is just one nautical mile off Vizhinjam coast.

The proposed site is on the INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING LINE, very close to the EAST-WEST SHIPPING AXIS.

The proposed site is endowed with natural depth of 24 m (which is by far the best compared to other ports in the world) as close as one Nautical Mile from the sea coast. There is no littoral sedimentation and due to natural depth availability, the site needs no dredging or minimal capital dredging requirements and thus low costs (as compared to the any other port in India within a reasonable distance from the East-West Shipping axis).

  • The depths at ports in New York, Southampton, Singapore, Dubai, Colombo, Hong Kong is 15 meters and requires dredging

It has more advantages compared to Colombo port and if developed can harbour even Panamax class and futuristic vessels. It also satisfies the physical and hydrographical parameters of modern seaports, the memorandum said.

The proposed site has minimal Littoral drift and as such would hardly require any maintenance dredging during the years of operation. This will result in low O&M Costs.

The proposed port is a Green-field project, away from urban/city limits, and thus can be master planned and shaped by the professional and experienced developer as per his own efficient designs and needs. The Port can turn out to be an efficient, modern and highly productive port with design, expertise and experience of the successful developer having international experience in such ports.

The port can attract large share of the container transshipment traffic which is now being diverted to Colombo, Singapore and Dubai. It can also ensure the badly needed economic development of India other than opening up immense job opportunities.

THE proposed deepwater international container trans-shipment terminal at Vizhinjam is expected to bring down the total costs of movement of containers to and from foreign destinations, according to the Container Shipment Economics Study.

At present, India's port capacity(12 major Indian ports) is a meagre 4.61 million TEUs/annum compared with China's capacity of 50 million TEUs, almost 11 times that of India's. Vizhinjam Port alone will have the capaciy of 4.10 million TEU/annum.

Cargo handled by Major Ports in India

Major Port
(04-'05, MMT)
Container Traffic
(04-'05)(million TEU)
  Cochin 14 0.19
  Ennore 9.5
  Haldia 36 0.13
  JNPT 33 2.37
  Kandla 42 0.18
  Kolkata Dock System 10 0.16
  Mormagao 31 0.01
  Mumbai 35 0.22
  New Mangalore 34 0.01
  Paradip 30
  Tuticorin 16 0.31
  Vizag 50 0.05
Source: Indian Ports Association
(* Projected )
TEU - Twenty foot equivalent unit

The study, carried out IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation and Hauer Associates, has also found that the Sethusamudram project will promote inter-coastal movements of Indian cargo, enhancing the potential of Vizhinjam as a trans-shipment hub.

On the other hand, the present Indian gateway ports do not attract a sufficient number of mainline vessels due to inadequate facilities and the distance from international shipping routes. As of now, about 61 per cent of Indian export/import containers are trans-shipped through the nearby foreign ports of Colombo, Singapore and Salalah (Oman.) This results in an additional burden of up to $200 per TEU of cargo interests with freight paid by Indian exporters being 11.4 per cent of the c.i.f (cost, insurance, freight) value of goods as against the world average of 6.1 per cent.

Notwithstanding the location of Vizhinjam in the deep South, cargo interests in the southern, northern and western regions may find it more viable to use the port as a gateway/trans-shipment terminal instead of Colombo, Singapore or Salalah. This means the hinterland of the port may extend to the western and northern parts of the country.

Once the port is up, Indian exporters will not have to travel to Dubai or Singapore for trans-shipment of cargo. Its is expected to save a Rs 1000 crores in expenditure.

The National Highways (NH-47-in use for years) NH-47 Bypass (partly completed and balance 6-8 Km under implementation) are in close proximity (Bypass at 3 Km & NH at 10 Km) and national rail network is less than 12 Km from the proposed port site. On one side NH-47 connects Thiruvananthapuram to Salem via Coimbatore and to Kanyakumari on the other side. At Kanyakumari, NH-47 would connect to the proposed N-S corridor (between Kashmir and Kanyakumari) being implemented under National Highway Development Project (NHDP) of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). New alignment connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kanyakumari is also proposed by NHAI under NHDP, the detailing of the same is underway (to be followed by implementation).

Traffic handled at Major Ports in April 06 to Sep'06(Provisional figures).

Source: Mumbai Port Trust Website.