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Kamarajar Port to become ‘Cape’ compliant to attract large vessels

Thursday, 04 Apr 2024
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The Kamarajar Port at Ennore in North Chennai will become Cape compliant, to handle large Capesize ships, by investing Rs 325 crore in a dredging project in this financial year. For this, the Kamarajar Port (KPL), a subsidiary of the Chennai Port Authority (CPA), will dredge the port’s berth to 18 mtrs. draft from the present 16 mtrs. to attract large size vessels.

For the project, the KPL has issued a global tender to carry out capital dredging of the harbour basin to 20.5 mtrs., deepening of the inner approach channel to 22 mtrs. deepening the outer approach channel from existing levels to 23 mtrs., and lengthening the approach channel to 23 mtrs.

The Panamax size vessels, which can transit the Panama Canal, carries 1.20 lakh tonne of cargo and requires 16 mtrs. draft. However, the Capesize ships require 18 mtrs. draft and can carry 1.70 lakh tonne of cargo. Capesize ships are the largest dry cargo ships and too large to transit the Suez Canal (Suezmax limits) or Panama Canal (Neopanamax limits).

The all-weather Kamarajar Port has a cargo handling capacity of 57.44 million tonne with nine operational berths, out of which three are for handling bulk coal; two for handling liquid cargo (POL, LPG & LNG); two for automobile export/import and associated capital goods and one each to handle container and multi cargo.

KPL has initiated action for development of additional five berths/terminals, two berths to handle coal and two berths to handle liquid cargo. The proposed coal berths will accommodate vessels of 18 mtrs. draft and have capacity of nine MTPA each. It has handed over coal berth-IV and coal berth-III to Tangedco during August 2018 and June 2019 respectively, for installation of top loading facilities like unloaders and conveyor system.

Further, in regard to the development of two additional liquid terminals through captive and PPP mode to handle POL and LPG of total six MT per annum, the captive berth is expected to be operational by December 2024.

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