erth for construction materials soon at VOC port
Tuticorin: A new berth, exclusively to handle construction materials will be developed at a cost of Rs 65.37 crore at the VO Chidambaranar (VOC) port in Tuticorin. The concession agreement for the shallow draught berth that will be developed on a public private partnership (PPP) model was signed by chairman of VOC port trust, I Jeyakumar and director of M/s VJR Port Terminal Pvt Ltd, S Jagatheesan on Wednesday. VOC port will provide the space (sea) and basic infrastructure such as dredging the water front and providing road connectivity till the berth, whereas investment will be completely borne by Tuticorin based M/s Indian Port Terminal Pvt, Ltd, which has formed a SPV (special purpose vehicle) in the name of M/s VJR Port Terminals Pvt, Ltd, to construct and operate the berth. The construction is set to commence within three months and commercial operations would begin in 18 months from the commencement of the construction. The shallow draught berth will be 260m long, 30m wide and have a capacity of two MTPA. The berth would be capable of handling 25,000 DWT ships with a draft of 10.3m. VOC port will be providing 2.5 hectares as storage space for the berth. The private firm that will be operating the shallow draught berth will offer a revenue share of 36.01% to VOC port. Now, construction materials such as limestone, cement, blue metal and sand are handled in the existing berths of the port and the dedicated berth is expected to increase the handling capacity of the port. Port officials said that this is the 17th berth to be constructed at the Tuticorin port. A total of 15 berths are already functioning and 16th berth to handle coastal cargo is under construction. Officials said that 80% of the construction of the berth has been completed and would soon be put to use.