Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is aiming to achieve 80 million tonnes cargo handling during the current financial year. During the last financial year, the port handled 69. 84 million tonnes, the second-highest annual cargo throughput in the history of the port. The turnover was 72.72 million tonnes during 2019-2020 fiscal.

VPT chairman K. Rama Mohan Rai said the port recorded an operating surplus of Rs. 698 crores while the net surplus before tax was Rs. 306 crores. Capital expenditure of Rs. 79 crores were incurred during 2020-21 for various development works, he said. The port maintained the third position among the major ports for the second consecutive year.

Mr. Rai said VPT could restrict the decline to four per cent whereas it was seven per cent in all other major ports. The highest cargo handled was iron ore and pellets which saw a 31 per cent increase. But the port lost 45 per cent in import of steam coal and 27 per cent in coking coal. The decline in economic activity led to less consumption of steam coal by the power sector and coking coal by the steel sector, he added.

Explaining the efficiency parameters, Mr. Rai said the average waiting time of a ship improved to 1.15 hours during 2020-21 from 1.22 hours during 2019-20. The number of ships handled during 2020-21 was 2,040 as against 2,099 during 2019-20.

Discussing this year's projects, he said a cruise terminal will be developed at an estimated cost of Rs. 103 crores in August 2021. Similarly, development of covered storage of 16,000 square meters at an estimated cost of Rs. 36 crores is scheduled to be awarded in June 2021.

Visakhapatnam Port Trust finalized 27 MoUs worth Rs. 28,875 crores as part of MIS 2021 with different business partners such as HPCL, Arcelor Mittal & Nippon Steel India Ltd, Dredging Corporation of India Ltd, IPRCL, ITD Cementation Ltd, and SAIL.

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