As it turned 86 Sunday, the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT), which is acclaimed as the Eastern Gateway of India has drawn up a vision to become the mostpreferred port in south Asia offering services of global standards and world-class logistics solutions.
Massive capacity expansion and modernisation plans are being implemented in a mission-mode in line with Visakhapatnam Port's growing strategic importance to trade with China, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Nigeria and countries in the Persian Gulf.
"Visakhapatnam Port, one of the 12 major ports of the country, has a strategic importance since it serves major economic sectors like steel, power, petroleum, mining and fertilisers. We play a pivotal role in the economic development of the hinterland, catering to major industries.
We now aim to further this by becoming the most-preferred port in south Asia that offers world-class logistics solutions at minimal cost to stakeholders," VPT Chairman Movva Tirumala Krishna Babu said.
Talking to PTI on the Port's 85th anniversary, Babu said VPT transformed into a mega port, capable of handling all types of cargos, from raw materials to finished products, facilitating large-scale employment and higher standards of living.
"We now have the capacity to handle 120 million tonnes of cargo, which will be increased to 135 MT in the next one and a half years.
That will be the optimum capacity and accordingly we have taken up expansion, mechanisation and modernisation works," Krishna Babu said.
VPT achieved an operating profit of Rs 250 crore in the last fiscal handling 63.5 million tonnes of cargo while the target for the current year has been set at 68 million tonnes. VPT is also ranked, by the Union Ministry of Commerce, as the number one port in the country in export of marine products.
While Rs 2,000 crore worth development works were under progress through publicprivate partnership and internal resource mobilisation, another Rs 3,000 crore worth projects were taken up under the Sagarmala.
"We had, in fact, taken up 15 capacity addition projects with a total investment of Rs 3,151 crore of which 11 were completed. The remaining four are in progress.
Mechanised coal handling facility with a capacity of 6.41 million tonnes per annum, construction of multi-cargo terminal with a capacity of 2.09 MTPA, upgradation of iron ore handling facility in the outer harbour are some of the major works that have been completed," the Chairman explained.
On the accolades won by the VPT, Babu said it has been ranked the second cleanest port in the country for the last two years in Swachh Bharat while the Andhra Pradesh government presented it the first Green Award in industries category this year.
"VPT is operating entirely on solar energy by commissioning a 10 MW utility-scale Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant at a cost of Rs 60 crore.
We were also awarded the Platinum Award in the ports sector for outstanding achievements in environment management, which is another milestone in our path towards becoming a Green Port," Krishna Babu added.