CHENNAI: Chennai Port is planning to have a satellite port in Sirkazhi which will handle coal for the proposed 2,000 MW thermal plant of Neyveli Lignite Corporation and a memorandum of understanding would be signed in the next two months, according to Chennai Port Chairman M A Bhaskarachar.
This comes as Chennai Port is looking at developing satellite ports as the the overall capacity of the port for container handling is limited by the storage space at the port.
Bhaskarachar, who is also Kamrajar Port chairman, said that Chennai :Port is currently identifying satellite ports due to its limitations to expand and is presently considering three ports including Karaikal, Pazhayar in Central Tamil Nadu Coast line and Vettangudi near Sirkazhi.
Currently, we are planning to have a stellite port near Sirkazhi. This would handle 20 million tonnes of coal pertaining to Neyveli Lignite Corporation, which is planning to set up a 2,000 MW thermal plant, said Bhaskarachar.
S Senthil Kumar, trustee, Chennai Port Trust that Nevyeli Lignite Corporation has confirmed to provide Chennai Port 20 million tonnes of coal cargo. The port in Sirkazhi would be in operation in the next six to eight months once the memorandum of understanding is signed.
Kumar said that satellite ports are a concept adopted by many ports to improve their business.
He also ruled out that that the plan to develop historic port of Pazhayar near Thanjavur was shelved. “It has a deep draft and the biggest challenge is that the entire infrastructure has to be created which would require huge investment. We are keeping it open for our long term option,” he said.
Interestingly, Chennai Port has been struggling following a Supreme Court ban on handling dusty cargo. But Senthil says that Chennai Port is still hopeful of handling the banned cargo in a better way and has submitted a proposal to this regard to the empowered committe of Supreme court.