Visakhapatnam Port during the last financial year witnessed a slight drop in cargo handling activity. The port handled 69.03 tonnes of cargo last fiscal as against 69.84 million tonnes during the corresponding period of the previous year. The Visakhapatnam Port Authority chairman K. Rama Mohan Rao cited the COVID pandemic as the reason behind this one percent drop.
During a press conference on Friday, the chairman said Vizag port despite the stiff competition from the next-door private port, ranked fourth among the major ports after Paradeep, Kandla, and JNPT and second on the east coast in terms of volume of cargo handled. The private port next door handled around 40 million tonnes.
He informed that the Vizag port handled 70.05 lakh tonnes of steam coal, 38 percent more than the previous financial year, 25.9 lakh tonnes of Thermal coal, 100 percent more than the last year, and 85.83 lakh containers five percent more than the previous year.
There were a decline in the handling of crude oil which was 142.49 lakh tonnes, 11 percent less than the previous year, iron ore and pellets 145.59 lakh tonnes, 23 percent less than the previous year and coking coal was 44.28 lakh tonnes, 18 percent less than the last financial year.
“We hope to reach 71 million tonnes during the current financial year. We have tied up with Anrak which would import bauxite from South Africa and crude import that would increase after HPCL completes its expansion,’’ the chairman said.
Further, he said the port has invested Rs 3,769 crore on expansion projects, most of which have been completed. Among them, the fishing harbor is being upgraded as a world-class facility with an investment of Rs 150 crore.