Vizhinjam International Seaport To Welcome First Mothership Soon, Full-Scale Operations To Begin In December

V Bhagya Subhashini

Jul 06, 2024, 01:00 PM | Updated 01:05 PM IST

Vizhinjam International Port, Thiruvananthapuram. (X)
Vizhinjam International Port, Thiruvananthapuram. (X)

The Vizhinjam International Seaport (VIST) in Thiruvananthapuram is preparing to receive its first mothership on 12 July. This event marks a significant milestone for the port, which has seen 88 per cent completion of overall work, including a recent successful trial run at the end of June.

The journey towards operational readiness began when the ship Zhen Hua 15 docked at Vizhinjam on 15 October 2023, transporting essential cranes crucial for port operations.

The Kerala state government has planned a grand reception to welcome the ship arriving from Mundra port in Gujarat. Although a trial, the docking of this mothership is deemed commercially important following the clearance for cargo handling by customs.

Minister of Industries P Rajeeve highlighted the transformative impact of the Vizhinjam project, achieved through a robust public-private partnership (PPP) with the Adani Group.

"Despite challenges, our government has turned this dream into reality. Vizhinjam's development as a world-class transshipment hub will bolster Kerala’s economy, create jobs, and elevate the state’s global stature," he said.

Earlier, Port Minister V N Vasavan informed the state legislative assembly about the port's readiness to handle cargo following its designation as a customs port. "Full-scale commercial operations at VIST are anticipated to commence by December," he affirmed, reports The Hindu.

Minister Vasavan also announced the upcoming signing of a tripartite agreement involving the state government, the Centre, and Adani Vizhinjam Port Pvt Ltd (AVPPL), the project's concessionaire.

This agreement aims to finalise the Centre’s share of the viability gap fund, with an empowered committee under the Union Finance Ministry scheduled to meet on 27 July for deliberations.

Significance Of The Vizhinjam Port Project

Vizhinjam, located about 14 kilometres (km) from Kerala's capital city of Trivandrum, has a natural depth of over 18 metres (m) and is located hardly 10 nautical miles (18 km) from the international shipping route from West Asia, Africa, and Europe to the far eastern regions of the world.

Additionally, the availability of a 20-m contour within 1 nautical mile from the coast, minimal littoral drift along the coast, the natural depth that excludes the need for maintenance dredging, the potential for better roads, and rail transport link potential make Vizhinjam a strategic location well-suited for the greenfield project.

Vizhinjam is envisaged to be an all-weather, multipurpose, deepwater, mechanised, greenfield port that seeks to garner the lion's share of the Indian transhipment cargo, now being handled by nearby foreign ports, and emerge as the future transhipment hub of the country.

V Bhagya Subhashini is a staff writer at Swarajya. She tracks infrastructure developments.

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