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HomeGlobal NewsFirst mothership docks at Kerala's Vizhinjam international transhipment port - Times of...

First mothership docks at Kerala’s Vizhinjam international transhipment port – Times of India

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A big cargo ship called ‘San Fernando‘ from China arrived at Kerala‘s newly built Vizhinjam International Sea Port on Thursday, marking the first container ship arrival at India’s largest transhipment port. The mothership was given a water salute by four tugs, which piloted it to the dock.
San Fernando, a 300-meter-long cargo ship, will offload 1,900 containers at Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL).
On Friday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will formally welcome the ship.
In a Facebook post, Kerala port minister V N Vasavan said San Fernando has been berthed at Vizhinjam Port and termed it as a truly momentous occasion.
“This is a truly momentous occasion. Tomorrow (Friday), the chief minister will formally welcome the ship, with the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, attending as the chief guest. The ship was safely berthed by four tugboats,” he said.
The minister said the ship had been tied up to the dock using a heavy-duty rope, and this process (called mooring) has been completed successfully.
The mothership carries large containers which will be transferred to other ships and later transported to other ports in the country and abroad.
The formal reception ceremony will be attended by several dignitaries, including Central and state ministers, officials, and members of the public.
“The dream is approaching the shore. The first mothership is reaching Kerala’s Vizhinjam port. San Fernando will be officially welcomed on behalf of Kerala tomorrow,” Vijayan in a Facebook post said on Thursday.
Equipped with modern equipment and advanced automation and IT systems, Vizhinjam will become India’s first semi-automated port, expected to be fully commissioned in September or October 2024.
“It is a natural port with depths between 20 and 24 meters. We have found that the ocean bottom here is rocky, which is very rare. Elsewhere, we would have to dredge to attain such depths,” Vasavan said.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday evening, the chief minister said special attention and care have been taken by the government to complete the port construction project in this manner since 2016.
“A special action calendar was prepared, and monthly reviews were conducted. Even a special mobile app was prepared for daily reviews. The construction work was carried out ensuring the availability of construction materials from within and outside the state.
“The timely completion of each component of the project was ensured. Adani Group has worked to complete this project in a time-bound manner,” Vijayan said.
He said the total investment for the Vizhinjam port is Rs 8,867 crore. Out of this, the state government and the Central government have allocated Rs 5,595 crore and Rs 818 crore respectively.
At the time of signing the contract for the port construction, the Central Environment Ministry had recommended Rs 8 crore for rehabilitation works.”However, the state government, with a very favourable approach towards fishermen, has spent Rs 100 crore for rehabilitation so far,” the chief minister said.
The government has utilised funds to address the issues raised by the Vizhinjam residents, and Adani Company’s CSR funds have also been used to carry out necessary works. More than 5,000 direct employment opportunities have been created as part of this port project, he added.
Vijayan said when this port becomes a reality, Kerala will become the hub of container business in the country.
“There will be significant development in industries like commerce, transportation, tourism, and others, leading to overall economic growth of the state. The Vizhinjam port will be a catalyst for this growth. This is a dream come true for the government and the people, who have worked together to make it a reality. We can proudly celebrate this achievement,” he said.

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