Speaking on the occasion, Shri Gadkari said that the project would benefit both TANGEDCO and the VOCPT. It would make coal handling by the jetties much more voluminous and efficient, and thus bring down logistics costs. He said this would also allow for cheaper production of electricity, which would be very beneficial for industrial growth.
With the upgradation of the coal jetties, TANGEDCO will be able to handle additional volume of coal cargo for the upcoming new power plants in Uppur and Kadaladi in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu. In addition to this, there will be quicker turnaround of vehicles with the deployment of high tech handling equipments like two ship unloaders, each with a minimum 2000 TPH capacity and a high capacity conveyor system of 4000 TPH. This enhancement of handling capacity and upgradation of infrastructure will result in reduction of logistics costs. TANGEDCO will therefore be able to utilize the services of the Port in a more cost-effective way. With the power generation from TANGEDCO’s Tuticorin plants being linked to the National Grid, this would enable availability of additional power at reduced costs, which, in turn, can fuel industrial growth and employment generation.
The project is the outcome of Ministry of Shipping’s Project Unnati, under which a study, ‘Unlocking National Ports Potential’ was done to improve the handling capacity of CJ-I & II. The estimated cost for upgrading CJ-I & II is about Rs.800 Cr. As per the MoU, initially Coal Jetty-I will be upgraded in about 24 months by constructing a new Coal Jetty-I of 300m x25m along with repair of the existing CJ-I. CJ –II will be upgraded thereafter. The upgradation will give a competitive edge to VOC Port and will help it maintain its lead position in coal handling.
The MoU was signed by Shri S. Anantha Chandra Bose, Chairman, V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust and Shri (Dr.) M. Sai Kumar, Chairman cum Managing Director, TANGEDCO in New Delhi.