Vishkhapatnam, June 23 : Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Thiru. T. R. Baalu here today disclosed at a review meeting that the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) handled 64.6 Metric Tonnes cargos in 2007-08 and the highest railway traffic of 35.5 Metric Tonnes amongst the major ports.
It was also disclosed at the meeting that with the commissioning of Rs. 333.00 crore Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) cavern facility in November last, the first of its kind in South East Asia with a storage capacity of 60,000 tonnes, there is a freight benefit of 40 to 60 dollars per tonne is accruing to the LPG vessels.
It may be recalled that the Government of India sanctioned the Outer Harbour Expansion Project at an estimated cost of Rs.185.00 crores in November, 2007.
With this project, the iron ore handling capacity of the Vishakhapatnam Port Trust on its completion would go up to the 19 MTPA and the Port would be able to handle 200,000 DWT vessels.
Since this year, the VPT is also maintaining an 11 metres draught in the port to allow the handling of lightened panama vessels in the inner harbour of the port making it the highest importer of coking coal amongst the major ports.
The Minister directed the Port Authorities to expedite the proposal for deepening the entrance channel to inner harbour to 14-metre draft to cater to fully laden panama vessels.