The much-delayed Kerala’s flagship project- Vizhinjam Port finally appears to be nearing completion, if Kerala government’s assertion in this regard is to be believed.
According to the state government, the first mother ship from China having 40 cranes will arrive in September and berth at the Port. Industry sources said the cpim government appears to be more keen on commissioning the project much before the operators Adani ports set the date
The project has been delayed by nearly eight years
Port authorities however said the port is expected to be operational by 2024 September. Upon its completion, the port will prove to be a game changer not just for Kerala but for the entire country as 80 per cent of transshipments to India which currently takes place at Colombo, Singapore and Dubai, will arrive at Vizhinjam.
During the commencement of the port by Adani on December 5, 2015, Gautam Adani had announced that the first ship will berth there on September 1, 2018, in a record time of less than 1,000 days.
Inked during the Congress-led UDF government under Chief Minister OommenChandy (2011-16), the work for the port began at the fag end of Chandy’stenure, but after the PinarayiVijayan government took over, due to numerous reasons, the pace could not be followed.
After cyclone Ockhi hit the construction site in 2017, a portion of the constructed breakwater was washed away and since then the shortage of limestone, the most important raw material for the project, caused yet another delay.
The total cost of the port project is Rs 7,525 crore for which the state government has contributed 500 acres of land besides contributing to viability gap funding.Even though the authorities now say that the first mother ship will berth in September, last year the State Ports Minister AhamedDevarkovil had said that the first ship will berth in March 2023 and the first phase of the port would be commissioned in 2023 September.
According to the agreement, Adani will operate the port for 40 years, extendable by 20 more years, while the state government will get a portion of the revenue from the port after 15 years. The state which has also contributed to the viability gap funding of the project along with the centre will not get any returns from the project for fifteen years.