VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam Port Trust, which is on a massive expansion-spree to become a world class port, has decided to enhance cargo handling (petroleum, oils and lubricants including POL products) from 3.28 million tonne to 9.81 million tonne by modernising and creating new facilities for oil refinery-I and II berths. Public hearing for the expansion of two oil berths of Visakhapatnam Port Trust at a cost of Rs. 193.31 crore will be held by the AP Pollution Control Board here on October 31.
The executive summary of the draft environmental impact assessment of the proposed project is made available at Collectorate, the offices of GVMC Commissioner, VUDA, Zilla Parishad and AP Pollution Control Board.
The hearing will be held in the port area.
The VPT board has already approved the project for which the IIT-Chennai had conducted a study.
Port sources say the project will be completed in three years so as to handle three Panamax vessels simultaneously. At present, the port handled 25,000 tonne and once the draft is increased, the cargo handling capacity will go up to 80,000 tonne. The port is required to handle more petroleum products in future with Visakh Refinery of HPCL launching work on capacity doubling project at a cost of Rs. 20, 928 crore.
India’s first underground rock cavern, built by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd here at a cost of Rs. 1178 crore to supply crude in case of an emergency, has a capacity to store 1.33 million tonne. It has two chambers. The smallest chamber with a capacity of 0.33 million tonne belongs to HPCL.
Visakhapatnam Port Trust at present has a capacity to handle 90 million tonne and it is getting ready to increase the capacity to 125 million tonne with an investment of Rs. 2,500 crore in next couple of years. The port has already received clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change for the expansion of Visakha Container Terminal Private Limited from 0.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 0.9 million TEU with an investment of Rs. 633.11 crore.