Friday, 12 June 2015

Advantages of Vizhinjam International Seaport


After a long wait, the Vizhinjam International Seaport is going to be a reality. On June 11, 2015, the Government of Kerala has finally given the go ahead signal to the Adani Group to construct a sea port at a place called Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram. When operational, it would become the largest seaport in the country. People in the field believe that it has a number of unique features that would make it the busiest seaport in the region.

vizhinjam seaport

History of Vizhinjam Seaport Project

The builder of the seaport Adani Group is planning to complete the terminal in three phases. If everything goes well, the first cargo vessel is expected to dock in the Vizhinjam Shipyard in four years. The idea of building a seaport at Vizhinjam was floated about 20 years ago. In the last 20 years, the port was amiss between the cup and the lip. There were many obstacles, both security and environmental – in its way. At other times, the demands of the prospective builders were not met. When conceived in 1991, the probable cost of the seaport to be built on landlord model was Rs. 6595 crore. But due to the lag in the implementation, the project cost rose to Rs. 7525 crore. According to new understanding, the new seaport would be built on Public Private Partnership – Private Services model.  


Current Status of Vizhinjam Seaport

When operational, Vizhinjam Seaport would become a special purpose government company. As a result, the Government of Kerala would become the sole implementing agency for the development of this Greenfield port.  The government had applied lots of mind to this project and asked an entity to find out its pros and cons when implemented in the chosen place in Thiruvananthapuram. Last year, the central government had given the environmental as well as security clearance to this seaport after studying the report prepared by the state government. This time around, only Adani Group, with two decades of experience in port building and maintenance, came up with the expression of interest in the project. After a lot of deliberation, the Kerala government has finally given permission for the Adani Group to construct a port in Vizhinjam.

international seaport

Advantages of Vizhinjam Seaport

When operational, the exporters don’t have to go elsewhere to ship their products to foreign countries. This is the case with the importers as well. Currently, they have to go to Singapore, Australia or Sri Lanka to ship and fetch the cargoes. This is expected to bring down the cost of transportation. There are other features that make this project a unique one. They are listed below.

seaport picture when complete

  • International Trade Route: The location of Vizhinjam International Seaport is close to the sea route that different players use to ferry their products to different countries. The port is just 1 nautical mile from the sea trade route.

    international trade route

  • East-West Shopping Axis: The port is also very close to the busy East-West Shopping Axis. Hence, it can attract a lot of sea-based business in this region.

  • Natural Depth: The average depth of the sea is 24 metre up to just one nautical mile from the sea shore. The sea ports operational in other countries like Australia, Sri Lanka and Singapore have the natural depth of only 15 metres. Hence, bigger cargo vessels can easily dock near the shore.
  • Attracting Bigger Players: Other seaports in our country do not attract bigger ships as the approach to them is through shallow waters. That is the reason the people in export-import businesses have to go the foreign countries to get their work done. Hence, it involves a lot of cost.

    bigger ships

  • No Dredging: Other ports of the region require periodical dredging to increase the depth of the approach route. Hence, the cost of maintenance is more. When operational, Vizhinjam Seaport will not require such dredging, bringing the cost of maintenance down.