Port authorities have begun the installation of cranes designed to load, unload containers, and shift them to the yard, a significant step towards trial operations of Phase I at Vizhinjam International Seaport.
This mega project aims to start trial operations by April this year.
The installation process includes the installation of four ship-to-shore cranes and eleven-yard cranes. Nine cranes have been successfully installed so far; Two other cranes are also expected to be operational within the next month. Checking crane functionality using empty containers in running operation.
The Indian branch of Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (ZPMC) carries out the installation work. A port official said the exact position of the crane is important in determining its efficacy, and its functioning will be checked according to several parameters.
A number of procedural actions are expected to get the cranes operational before the first ship carrying containers reaches the port in the next few months, the Economic Times reported.
Vizhinjam International Seaport Significance
Currently, transshipment hub ports such as Colombo, Singapore, Salalah (Oman), Jebel Ali (DP World’s flagship port in Dubai), Tanjung Pelepas, and Port Klang (Malaysia) handle most of India’s container traffic trade.
While India has more than 200 ports (including 13 major ports) along a coastline of about 8,000 km, most of them are shallow (nine meters to 11 metres) and cannot handle the huge ships that are common in international trade today.
The largest ship that connects Europe and the Far East cannot land at any Indian port. India does not have the container transshipment infrastructure capable of serving them. There are container handling facilities in Mumbai, Mundra, Kochi/Vallarpadam, Chennai and Visakhapatnam.
Vizhinjam port is very important here.
Vizhinjam is about 14 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. Its natural depth exceeds 18 metres, and it is just 10 nautical miles (18 km) from the international shipping route from West Asia, Africa, and Europe to the Far East.
Also, the availability of outbuildings within 20 meters from the coast, low coastal drift, natural depth that does not require maintenance dredging, improved road potential and potential for rail transport links make Vizhinjam a strategic decision. Perfectly suited for greenfield projects.
Vizhinjam was built as an all-weather, multi-purpose, deep water, mechanized, greenfield port. It now seeks to aggregate the bulk of Indian transshipment cargo handled by nearby foreign ports and develop as a future transshipment hub of the country
When the first phase starts, Vizhinjam port will handle 20-foot equivalent container units (TEU). The next phases will add 6.2 million TEUs, which will account for about 70% of the country’s current transshipment.
Expected to initially employ around 5,000 people, the port’s impact extends beyond direct operations. A new era of economic opportunities will begin in the port sector, from which many indirect businesses are also ready to take advantage.