Ports & Ship building
Kerala has a coastline of around 590 km and has 17 intermediate and minor ports, apart from the major port of Cochin, which hosts the Vallarpadam ICTT. The long coastline offers immense potential for setting up a vibrant port sector in the State. The current main project on offer is:
Vizhinjam Deep Water Container Transshipment Terminal
The project is to build a mega transshipment hub catering to all types of vessels including Super Post Panamax Vessels & Mega Container Carriers at Vizhinjam, 16 km south of Thiruvananthapuram. Other related infrastructure facilities planned are container stackyard, container freight stations, floating crafts communication systems, berth/container yard equipment and rail and road linkages. Water depth of 16 metres (to be increased to 18.7 metres) in a phased manner, at berth, would allow vessel sizes up to 12000 TEUs. The initial project cost enveloping state-of-the-art facilities and equipment is estimated to be Rs. 2,390 crore.
The government of Kerala has formed Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd., a special purpose vehicle, for the execution of the project. Detailed traffic assessment study as well as a container shipment economic study has established the viability of the project. This is buoyed by the growth in international container trade and growth in container traffic in India at a CAGR of 14 per cent during the last decade. These developments would call for terminals where large-sized vessels can berth.
Kerala has 17 minor ports, some of which have been in disuse for years. The government, as part of a long-term coastal shipping project, has decided to develop seven of these: Vizhinjam, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kodungallur, Beypore, Ponnani and Azhikkal.
The port policy seeks to make Kerala one of the top three maritime States in terms of cargo movement by 2014. Establish an efficient and commercially viable water transport system. This will be achieved by carrying out a coordinated development of multi-purpose ports, transshipment hubs, inland waterways, coastal shipping, inland terminals, cargo handling and storage facilities, railways and road linkages. Promote port-based and marine industries. Encourage private sector participation in ports, support services and other infrastructure facilities.