Recently, the director board of Vizhinjam International Seaport approved the master plan for the proposed Vizhinjam port project.
The project authority has reportedly sent a copy of the master plan to the International Finance Corporation, which is doing the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study for the project.
Once the Detailed Project Report (DPR) is completed, the EIA report along with master plan and DPR will be submitted to the state pollution control board for public hearing. The final report will be then submitted to the union ministry of environment and forest for clearance, reports indicate.
According to the master plan, the project would expand the berthing capacity for vessels up to 18,020 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units). This would make the port the biggest transhipment container terminal in the country.
The port, once it becomes operational, will be able to handle berth requirements of some of the world's largest vessels, giving it an edge over ports like Colombo and Dubai.
The other proposals include an exclusive 250 meter-long oil bunking facility, where long haul vessels travelling along the east-west sea route can refuel, and an 850-meter modern fishing harbour twice the size of the existing one.