Karaikal Port gets its first vessel

April 15th, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Karaikal (Puducherry), April 15 (IANS) Chennai-based construction major Marg Ltd’s greenfield port project at Vanjore near Karaikal formally went on stream Wednesday.
A project cargo specialist vessel, MV Beluga Fan Fare, carrying two cargo cranes each weighing 104 tonnes, unloaded one of its cranes at the port Wednesday.

“It has been a momentous 24-month journey. Two berths of 460-metre each have been constructed, 9 km of channel dredged, seven lakh tonnes of stones moved to build breakwater and the railway corridor work is nearly over,” Marg Ltd chairman G.R.K. Reddy said.

The port is being constructed in three phases. Work on the second phase has already started and is expected to be completed by 2011, while the third phase would be over in 2012.

Reddy said the Puducherry government gave 600 acres for the port project. “In our case, we had a well-developed hinterland for the port even before we started work. Usually hinterland gets developed after the port,” he said.

The port, developed under the the public-private partnership (PPP) model, is envisaged to be a gateway to central Tamil Nadu. Major cargo that will be handled will be coal, textiles, textile machinery, cement, project cargo (machineries and equipment) and containers.

“The draft will be increased in stages from the current 6.5 metres to 13.5 metres and finally to 16.5 metres,” Reddy said. The port will also provide bunkering and ship-repairing facilities.

While the phase one of the project required investments worth Rs.416 crore, the phases two and three will involve Rs.1500 crore each. A debt-equity ratio of 75 to 25 will be maintained.

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