Work on Mega Container Terminal at Ennore port to start soon

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Chennai, Feb 23 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi will soon lay the foundation stone for the Rs 1,300 crore Mega Container Terminal Project at Ennore port, Union Shipping Minister T R Baalu said today.

Inaugurating the Phase-I capital dredging works and construction of roads at Ennore Port, near here, he said the mega terminal would have the capacity to handle 8,000 containers.

It would have a one-km-long berth, which would be capable of accommodating three mainline vessels or four feeder vessels, he said, adding that the terminal would be built under Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) model, involving public-private partnership. Mr Baalu said the global bidding process and selection of builder for the mega terminal would be decided by the Ennore Port Trust.

The Minister said under the National Maritime Development Policy, 276 port projects and 111 shipping projects would be taken up, involving a total investment of Rs one lakh crore. While the shipping projects would be completed by the year 2025, the port projects would be completed by 2012, he added.

Under the maiden maritime policy, Ennore would get 14 projects, involving an investment of Rs 6,466 crore, Chennai port 14 projects with an investment of Rs 2,246 crore and Tuticorin port 24 projects with an investment of Rs 4,571 crore, he said.

Mr Baalu said the Shipping Corporation of India was in the red during the previous BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. The Vajpayee government wanted to sell the Corporation, but thanks to the proactive measures initiated by the present Congress-led UPA government, it had started earning profits.

The Corporation had paid a dividend of 85 per cent and had placed orders for the purchase of 28 new ships, he said.

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