VPT grosses up 69.84 million tonnes in 20-21
The Visakhapatnam Port Trust grossed up 69.84 million tonnes for the fiscal 2020-21, which is about 4% less than that of the previous year’s 72.72 million tonnes.
Of the 69.84 MT, about 38.73 MT were imports and 30.08 MT were export cargoes. The remaining was under transhipment, as year the closed.
Addressing the annual press conference here on Saturday, the Chairman of VPT, K. Rama Mohana Rao, said that despite COVID-19 pandemic hitting the all-round trade, the port was able to come close to its target and was successful in keeping its third position among major ports intact for the second successive year. This was also the third highest annual cargo throughput achieved by VPT since its inception.
Speaking to The Hindu about the shortfall of 4% over the previous year, he said that due to the Union government’s policy of discouraging import of steam coal to encourage local mines, the steam coal import had dropped by about 27% and thermal coal imports dropped by 15%.
“In 2019-20, we imported about 9.27 MT of steam coal and 0.82 MT of thermal coal, but this year it dropped to 5.07 MT and 0.70 MT, respectively,” said Mr. Rama Mohana Rao.
But we could make up the shortfall by increasing exports of iron ore, pellets and other iron products by 31% and other cargoes such as rice, sugar and maize by 22%.
According to him, though the drop at other major ports was over 7%, in VPT it was around 4%, which he attributed to aggressive marketing.
He also said that the average waiting time of a ship was brought down to 1.15 hours from 1.22 hours in the previous year.
VPT also grossed up an operating surplus of ?698 crore and net surplus before tax of ?306 crore.
The draft at the berths has been increased to accommodate bigger vessels and even permissible length of the vessels has been increased in a few berths and at the container terminal.
“We also signed about 27 MoUs worth around ?28,875 crore and ongoing projects are on schedule,” he said.
Speaking about projects under Sagarmala, he said that a grade separator worth ?60 crore has already been installed and a flyover from Seahorse Junction to Naval Dockyard worth Rs. 250 crores has been finalised.
This apart, a four-lane road from VCTPL to Convent Junction with a project cost of around ?160 crore and converting the existing four-lane from Convent Junction to Sheelanagar to eight-lane, worth ?40 crore, were part of the project.
This apart, modernisation of WQ 7 and 8 and EQ 7, at a cost of ?450 crore is part of VPT’s modernisation plan.
The berths will be modernised in PPP mode on BOT basis and negotiations are on, said Mr. Rama Mohana Rao.
The Chairman pointed out that VPT aims to increase the throughput by 10 MT in 2021-22 by focussing on other cargoes and containers.
“We propose to increase the container movement from 5 lakh TEU per annum to 10 lakh and with the expansion of HPCL the crude imports are expected to go up from 8 MT to 15.
To check pollution, VPT is investing about ? 40 crore on covered sheds and the target is to cover at least 90% of the loading and the unloading facility. It intends to plant about 1 lakh saplings and trees in the port area and set up mechanised cleaning and spraying system, in the cargo hold areas.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
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