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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tuticorin port project gets environment clearance

The Rs 685-crore Inner Harbour Development Project at the Tuticorin port has got environment clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The projects main portion is a dredging component of Rs 440 crore to improve the draught in the port to 12.8 metres from the present 10.7 metres. This will enable the port to handle panamax size vessels, which are of the maximum dimensions that will fit through the locks of the Panama Canal.

The Tuticorin Port Trust has invited applications from dredging companies for pre-qualifying for deepening the channel and basin. The port had sought Rs 221 crore budgetary support from the Union Government for dredging, and the rest of the amount would be funded by the port trust, which would consider institutional financing, he said.

During 2005-06, the port handled all-time record cargo traffic of 17.14 million tonnes exceeding the previous years 15.81 mt. Container handing was 3.21 lakh TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) compared with 3.07 lakh TEUs in the previous year. The Indian Ports Authority did an independent study of traffic potential for the project and the National Institute of Ocean Technology gave the techno economic feasibility report. L&T Ramboll did the mathematical model study to widen the port entrance.

The project will also include construction of cargo berth number 9 at a cost of Rs 36 crore and dredging the dock basin in front of the proposed berth 9 at an estimated cost of 46 crore. Both these schemes will be taken up simultaneously and entrusted to two different contractors.

Source: Jim News

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