Infrastructure

Big Players Eye Thoothukudi Port: Adani Ports, JSW, PSA Compete For Rs 7,200 Crore Mega Transshipment Hub Project

V Bhagya Subhashini

Mar 26, 2024, 01:36 PM | Updated 01:36 PM IST


VOPCA is working on a project worth Rs 7,200 crore to make VOC Port a transhipment hub that can compete with Colombo and Singapore. (istock)
VOPCA is working on a project worth Rs 7,200 crore to make VOC Port a transhipment hub that can compete with Colombo and Singapore. (istock)

Thoothukudi's VO Chidambaranar (VOC) Port in Tamil Nadu is set to undergo a remarkable transformation with the launch of a substantial outer harbour project.

The V O Chidambaranar Port Authority (VOCPA) is spearheading this initiative, investing Rs 7,200 crore to elevate VOC Port into transshipment hub that can compete with Colombo and Singapore.

The project has garnered immense interest from both domestic and big international players in the sector. Notable names include Adani Ports, Singapore's PSA International, Dutch conglomerate Van Oord, JM Baxi, and industrial giant JSW, among others.

The project majorly involves the construction of a breakwater, the creation of a backup yard, berth/jetty construction, mechanisation in the berth and stack yard, 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 project is strategically positioned to leverage the burgeoning investor enthusiasm in the region, driven by landmark investments such as the Rs 16,000 crore electric vehicle manufacturing unit initiated by Vietnamese conglomerate VinFast, as per a Business Standard report.

Additionally, the upcoming establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation's second spaceport in Tamil Nadu's Kulasekarapattinam and Singapore-based Sembcorp's staggering Rs 36,238 crore project have further enhanced the region's allure for investors.

V O Chidambaranar Port

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 in Tamil Nadu.

The VOCP 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.

The port handles major cargoes such as coal, copper concentrate, timber logs, phosphoric acid, rock phosphate, granite stone, salt, wheat sugar, construction materials, pulses, VCM, LPG naphtha, furnace oil, ammonia fertiliser, etc.

The strategic location of V O Chidambaranar Port near the global sea routes
The strategic location of V O Chidambaranar Port near the global sea routes

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 TEUs respectively.


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