The Visakhapatnam Port Trust grossed 69.84 million tons for the 2020-21 financial year, which is about 4% less than in the previous year (72.72 million tons).
Of the 69.84 tons, about 38.73 tons were imports and 30.08 tons were export cargoes. The rest were transhipped when the year closed.
At the annual press conference here on Saturday, VPT Chairman K. Rama Mohana Rao said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic that hit all-round commerce, the port has been able to get close to its destination and succeed to keep third position among the major ports intact for the second consecutive year. This was also the third highest annual cargo turnover that VPT has achieved since its inception.
Speak with The Hindu Regarding the 4% yoy deficit, he said that due to the policy of the Union government to ban imports of steam coal to support local mines, steam coal imports decreased by about 27% and thermal coal imports decreased by 15% be.
“In 2019-20 we imported about 9.27 tons of steam coal and 0.82 tons of thermal coal, but this year they have fallen to 5.07 tons and 0.70 tons, respectively,” said Rama Mohana Rao.
However, we could make up for the deficit by increasing exports of iron ore, pellets and other iron products by 31% and other cargoes like rice, sugar and corn by 22%.
According to him, the decline in other major ports was over 7% and in VPT around 4%, which he attributed to aggressive marketing.
He also said a ship’s average waiting time was reduced to 1.15 hours from 1.22 hours in the previous year.
VPT also had an operating profit of £ 698 billion and a net profit before tax of £ 306 billion.
The draft at the berths has been increased to accommodate larger ships, and even the length of the ships has been increased in some berths and at the container terminal.
“We have also signed 27 MoUs worth around 28,875 crore, and ongoing projects are on schedule,” he said.
Speaking of projects under Sagarmala, he said that a 60 crore sort separator had already been installed and a 60 crore overpass from Seahorse Junction to the Naval Dockyard had been installed. 250 crores have been completed.
Apart from that, part of the project was a four-lane road from VCTPL to Convent Junction with project costs of around 160 crore and the conversion of the existing four-lane road from Convent Junction to Sheelanagar to eight lanes worth 40 crore.
That being said, upgrading WQ 7 and 8 and EQ 7 at a cost of £ 450m is part of VPT’s modernization plan.
The berths will be modernized on a BOT basis in PPP mode and negotiations are ongoing, said Rama Mohana Rao.
The Chairman indicates that VPT plans to increase throughput by 10 tons in 2021-22 by focusing on other cargoes and containers.
“We propose to increase container movement from 5 lakh TEU per year to 10 lakh, and with the expansion of HPCL, crude oil imports are expected to increase from 8 MT to 15.
To control pollution, VPT is investing around £ 40 million in covered sheds. The aim is to cover at least 90% of the loading and unloading facilities. Around 1 lakh seedlings and trees are to be planted in the port area and a mechanized cleaning and spraying system is to be set up in the hold areas.