Kerala: Vizhinjam port makes history, welcomes first mothership

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala's Vizhinjam International Seaport on Thursday welcomed its inaugural mother ship "San Fernando" heralding a new era of growth and prosperity for the state.

The ship from Sri Lanka arrived outside the port before 7 am, and a harbour pilot guided it into the dock amidst a grand water salute. Thousands of people gathered nearby, eager to catch a glimpse of the massive mother vessel. A large tugboat, Ocean Prsitage and three smaller tugboats worked together to carefully bring the ship to its berth, marking a momentous occasion in the port’s history.

Vizhinjam Port, India’s first deep–water container transhipment port boasts a natural draft of 18-20 meters making it an ideal hub for the world’s largest container vessels. Strategically located just 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala’s capital, the port enjoys proximity to the bustling International East-West shipping route. Once fully operational, Vizhinjam Seaport is poised to rival top international ports like Colombo, Salalah and Singapore, vying for a significant share of global container transhipment traffic.

With a capacity of 8000 to 9000 TEUs, the vessel sailed from Xiamen Port in China and was expected to offload approximately 2000 containers at Vizhinjam Port. Additionally, the port will handle 400 containers, providing international standard services, and showcasing its capabilities and efficiency.

After a special ceremony on Friday, July 12, the ship will leave for Colombo. The arrival of the container ship marks the beginning of the trial run of Kerala's ambitious project, Vizhinjam Port.

Vizhinjam port is India's first semi-automated port, with modern equipment and advanced technology. It will be fully operational by September-October 2024.

Kerala Port Minister V N Vasavan told media persons that the trial operations will start right away and the port will be fully commissioned soon.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Port Minister Sarbabanad Sonowal will attend the opening ceremony on Friday.

The minister said that the port is ready to handle big ships, including container ships, and will provide world-class services to international vessels.

The trial operation will last for two to three months, during which large vessels, including a 400-meter-long container ship, will arrive at the port. Small vessels will then transport containers to other ports in India and abroad, starting full-scale transhipment operations.

PPP model project

The Kerala government and Adani Group are partners in this project implemented through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. The construction of the port began in 2015 and Phases 2 and 3 are expected to be completed by 2028.

Earlier the Adani Group expedited the construction of the port by creating a special work calendar, conducting monthly reviews, developing a mobile app for daily reviews and ensuring the timely availability of construction materials from within and outside the state.

Additionally, necessary work was done using government funds and Adani Company's CSR funds to address the concerns of the

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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