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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuticorin Port plans Rs 5,310 crore expansion

Tuticorin Port plans a major expansion involving investments of around Rs 5,310 crore to create additional capacity and infrastructure on the back of growing industrial activity and meeting capacity demands from the trade.

The port is planning to augment its capacity from the existing 20.55 million tonnes to 40.60 million tonnes through an Inner Harbour Development Programme.

This envisages construction of a coal berth, development of a container terminal, construction of new berths and development activities like dock basin dredging to cater to 12.8-metre draft vessels at a cost of Rs 961.75 crore, according to A Subbiah, deputy chairman, Tuticorin Port.

The port, through a futuristic Outer Harbour Development Programme, is also planning to create additional capacity of 37.5 million tonnes by 2012-end and would aim for 43.7 million tonnes by 2017. The plan is estimated at an outlay of Rs 4,350 crore, Subbiah added.

Garments and textile exporters and importers of machinery in Tirupur, Karur and Salem regions are using Tuticorin Port for their import and export activities since the port has direct connectivity to American and European ports, besides ports in East Asia and South-east Asia.

Tuticorin Port handled 18.70 million tonnes of cargo during 2006-07, registering 9 per cent growth over previous year’s figures of 17.14 million tonnes. Container traffic stood at 377,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) as compared to 321,000 TEUs in the previous fiscal, registering growth of 17 per cent.

For the current fiscal, the port has set a target of 20.05 million tonnes of cargo traffic and 400,000 TEUs.

The operating income of the port was Rs 183.05 crore for 2006-07 as compared to Rs 159.04 crore the previous year. Profit after tax (PAT) was Rs 88.76 crore, up 39 per cent over Rs 63.76 crore in the previous fiscal.

With the expected completion of the Sethusamudram project in 2008, ports on the east coast and west coast of the country are expected to use Tuticorin Port as a transhipment hub, resulting in its emergence as a hub container port in near future, a Tuticorin Port statement said.

Considering the business potential and increasing industrial activity in the region, CII has opened its district office in Tuticorin, inaugurated on Saturday by MS Srinivasan, secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

At the launch of CII office, Srinivasan hinted that Tuticorin, being a major port on the east cost of the country, would gain in a big way with the Centre’s increasing attention on East Asian economies.

Source: Business Standard

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