The three-year agreement signed by Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) for export to Japan and Korea has helped Visakhapatnam Port Trust to register impressive performance during the first quarter of the current fiscal brightening the hope that it will improve its ranking next year.
Sources told The Hindu that the port had handled an extra quantity of 1.2 million tonnes over the corresponding period last year. Going by the trend, the port officials were planning to achieve 68 million tonne cargo volume by end of the financial year.
VPT had ranked fourth leading port in traffic during last fiscal after Kandla, Paradip and JNPT. This year, VPT Chairman Rinkesh Roy said recently that they were confident of improving their ranking due to changes brought about in its techno-economic parameters.
Significantly, the port also saw increase in crude and POL, which was attributed to the expansion of HPCL Visakh Refinery. The refinery modernisation project envisages increasing the capacity from 8.33 to 15 million tonne.
Special marketing team
The port has set up a special marketing team to overcome the threat of diversion of cargo to neighbouring ports. The container terminal here is undergoing expansion to increase its capacity. Container traffic is increasing consistently due to existence of deep draft terminal and handling of cargo for landlocked Nepal.
Essar completing the construction of the iron ore terminal with global standards with an investment of ₹830 crore with a capacity to handle 24 million tonne per annum is an added advantage for VPT.
Maintaining its momentum, the port handled 65.30 million tonne during 2018-19 as against 63.54 million tonne during 2017-18. The port had achieved highest operating income of ₹1,158 crore in 2018-19.
VPT through its internal accruals and PPP projects has increased capacity from 67 million tonne in 2014 to 127 million tonne. During the past five years, capacity addition projects were taken up with an investment of ₹3,171 crore of which four were at various stages of execution.