Tough time ahead for VPT


Visakhapatnam port has a challenging time ahead in not only bringing pollution at bare minimum but also enhancing its capacity to 135 million tonne by 2019.

“We are aware of the challenges ahead and gearing up to face them by making our port a transhipment hub with world-class facilities with a business-friendly environment,” Visakhapatnam port Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu has said.

Faced with stiff competition from neighbouring ports, Visakhapatnam port which went into operations in 1933 is credited with getting adjudged the second cleanest port in the country after Haldia Dock by the Government of India.

The port has decided to engage an international consultant on environment and pay the firm based on implementation of various strategies to reduce pollution. The decision has been taken on the advice of Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

The port is investing ₹5,000 crore, most of it in public-private participation (PPP) programme.

Investment of half of it is already completed. The present capacity of 98 million tonne will go up to 135 million tonne in next two years.

Scrapping of deal

The port has decided to invest ₹100 crore on completing the work on coal and steam coal terminal which was awarded to SEW Infrastructure and its Malaysian partner PRSB in February 2012 for completing by October 2014 with a total investment of ₹313.39 crore.

The consortium left after completing 60% of work and investing ₹210 crore.

The port has obtained clearance from the Ministry of Shipping to complete the work and engage an operation and maintenance contractor once it is ready for commissioning. The consortium walked out insisting on reduction in gross revenue share of 33.3% which it had agreed upon at the time of signing the concession agreement.

Another challenge before the port is the restart work on the Adani Vizag Coal Terminal Private Ltd, which is shut down for nearly a year due to controversy over use of trucks in violation of permission given to it by the AP Pollution Control Board and other issues.

Adani completed the project with an investment of ₹400 crore and handling capacity of 6.41 million tonne.

Once it gets all the clearances, the port may convert it into a multi-commodity terminal due to fall in demand for imported coal following thrust on domestic coal production.

Source: The Hindu

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