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Kerala's Vizhinjam International Seaport set to welcome first ship, China's Zhen Hua; What you must know

The Chinese ship Zhen Hua 15 is arriving at the Vizhinjam International Seaport, developed by the Adani Group, and will dock on October 14.  With Vizhinjam becoming a reality, huge motherships can anchor right off the Indian coast.

Kerala: Vizhinjam International Seaport set to welcome first Chinese ship Zhen Hua; Everything you should know anr
First Published Oct 12, 2023, 11:46 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) will become a game changer in India's cargo movement systems. The uniqueness of Vizhinjam is that it has possibilities that no other coast can claim. What are the features of Vizhinjam Port?

The Chinese ship Zhen Hua 15 arrived at the Vizhinjam port, developed by the Adani Group after a month and a half journey. The ship was given a water salute. It reached Kerala's coast on October 11 and will dock on October 14 at the port. Minister for Ports Sarbananda Sonowal and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will officially receive the ship at a ceremony held at Vizhinjam on October 15. With Vizhinjam becoming a reality, huge motherships can anchor right off the Indian coast.

Year 2015:

In the year 2015, it was declared that the first phase of commissioning would take place in 1000 days. However, several obstacles like scarcity of stone, Cyclone Okhi, the COVID-19 pandemic, political controversy and continuous protests delayed the development of the port. And now, the port, a dream project of Kerala is becoming a reality.  The construction of the container berth is 73 percent complete while yard berth construction has reached 34 per cent. The embankment construction is completed by 53 per cent while dredging has reached a completion of 63 per cent.

What is special about Vizhinjam?

Motherships arriving in India with 14,000 to 20,000 containers, currently cannot anchor at any port in the country. These ships are currently docked at the ports of Colombo, Salalah and Singapore. From there the cargo is transported to Indian ports by smaller ships and feeder ships which is actually a waste of time and money. Once the Vizhinjam port launch becomes a reality, the motherships can anchor off the Indian coast itself. The sea is 20 feet deep in the Vizhinjam harbour area. The International Ship Channel is just 10 nautical miles away. With the Vizhinjam port's operation, India will have a logistics system that is equal to China, or even better than China.

The port, which is being built at a projected cost of Rs 7,700 crore, is expected to be commissioned by May next year.

The Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport is an ambitious project taken up by the Government of Kerala. It is designed primarily to cater to container transshipment besides multi-purpose and break bulk cargo.

The port's intended breadth is 150 metres. Reclamation of the sea would make available roughly 2.5 to 2.75 km2 (600 to 700 acres). The port would include two 1.5 km and 6 km breakwaters, as well as a harbour basin and wharves. There would be around 30 berths, the majority of which could accommodate mother ships.

What is on this ship?

This is the ship of Shanghai PMC, the world's best crane manufacturer and has important cranes for unloading- A ship-to-shore crane. It has two-yard cranes. Ship-to crane is used to lift and place containers from ship to yard. Yard cranes are used for container movement within the port. After the cranes are put into operation, there is a trial period of six months. The Shanghai PMC which currently operates the cranes will be taken over by the Adani Group. As many as 600 workers will be at the port. 

The first ship to Vizhinjam port is moving into the project area. Asianet News obtained the first glimpses of Zhen Hua.

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