THOOTHUKUDI: Thoothukudi VOC Port berthed the longest container vessel SCI Mumbai at the Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminals (DBGT) here during the early hours on Thursday. SCI Mumbai was berthed at 6.45 am in the presence of VOC Port Chairman I Jayakumar, Deputy Chairman S Natarajan, Chief Executive Officer of Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminals Eric Lavenu and other senior officials.
SCI Mumbai is 262 metres long and has the capacity to carry 4395 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent unit) of containers. It is one of the vessels in the PIX 2 service, calling Thoothukudi at a frequency of 28 days and its rotation is Thoothukudi-Kochi-Jebel Ali-Mundra- Krishnapatnam- Kattupalli- Thoothukudi.
Speaking on the occasion, Jayakumar said that the “VOC Port has been handling vessels of 230 metres with container carrying capacity of 2500 TEUs. The humble start of this trial run with container carrying capacity of 4395 TEUs would pave the way for attracting more international and coastal volumes. Besides, it would induce the main line operators offering services from the Far East, the Red Sea and East Africa to call VOC Port,” said Jayakumar. He further said that these services would be a game changer in the container business in the southern part of the country, creating new opportunities and delivering cost-efficient services to customers.
VOC Port had handled the longest container vessel on November 1, 2006. “Round The World service vessel MV Limari, with an overall length of 269 metres, gave first call at Thoothukudi, offering direct calls to Europe, the Mediterranean countries, China and USA which placed Thoothukudi in the international chart of the container trade,” recalled Jayakumar.
“It’s a matter of pride that the VOC Port ranks fourth among the major sea ports in terms of container handling and has become a vibrant port in the south. The port had handled 6.42 lakh TEUs in the last financial year and has handled 3.78 lakh TEUs as on October 25, this year. To cope with the container traffic forecast of 3.28 million TEUs by the year 2025–26, plans are on the anvil to deepen the harbour basin and approach channel to facilitate draft of 15.20 metres which is 2.80 metre at present, to modify the harbour entrance to 230 metres which is 153 metre at present, to strengthen Berths 1 to 6,” said a release from VOC Port.
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