Chidambaranar Port, TANGEDCO ink pact to upgrade coal jetties to handle 24 mn tonnes

The pact will upgrade two coal jetties at VOC Port - Jetty I and II -- from 6.25 MTPA to 24 MTPA.

The Dollar Business Bureau

One of the top major ports in the country, the VO Chidambaranar (VOC) Port and Tamil Nadu’s Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) inked an agreement today to increase the capacities of two coal jetties at the port four-fold to 24 million tonnes for Rs 800 crore.

The pact will upgrade two coal jetties at VOC Port - Jetty I and II -- from 6.25 MTPA (million tonne per annum) to 24 MTPA.

The Ministry of Shipping in a press a statement said: "The VOCP Trust signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) for the upgradation of Coal Jetty I and II.”

The Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari said that coal handling by the jetties would become more voluminous and bring down the logistics costs and 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. This would also allow for cheaper production of electricity, which would be very beneficial for industrial growth," he said.

With the upgradation of coal jetties, TANGEDCO will be able to handle additional volumes of coal cargo for the upcoming new power plants in Uppur and Kadaladi in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.

In addition, there will be a quicker turnaround of vehicles with the deployment of high-tech handling equipment like two ship unloaders, each with a minimum 2,000 TPH capacity and a high capacity conveyor system of 4,000 TPH.

This enhancement of handling capacity and upgradation of infrastructure will result in the reduction of logistics costs, the statement also said.

"TANGEDCO will therefore, be able to utilise the services of the port in a more cost-effective way. With the power generation from TANGEDCOs 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," it said.

The project is the outcome of Ministry of Shippings 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 crore," the statement said.

As per the MoU, initially, Coal Jetty-I will be upgraded in about 24 months by constructing a new coal jetty while the second jettly will be upgraded thereafter.