VO Chidambaranar Port at Tuticorin is converting its eighth berth into a container terminal with a capacity to handle six lakh TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) at a cost of Rs 312.23 crore. The capacity of the port will increase to one million TEUs following the commission of the terminal.
The container terminal, which would have a draft of 12.80 meter, would cater to the needs of export or import traders, specifically the EXIM traders from Tirupur, Coimbatore, and Erode.
The port is setting up the terminal, which is second in the port, as the container handling capacity of the existing terminal has reached a saturation point. The terminal will commence interim operations by deploying gantry cranes within two months and its full-fledged operations will commence from the beginning of 2014.
T Johnson, President, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Tuticorin and MD, St. John Freight Systems, Tuticorin, said it would be a significant development in trade operations.
JP Joe Villavarayar, Former president, All-India Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Tuticorin and MD, Villavarayar and Sons, said cargo volume would be doubled in the coming years.
R Edwin Samuel, Former Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry, Tuticorin, also welcomed the initiative.