VISAKHAPATNAM: MV Navios Centaurus, the first ever gearless Panamax vessel, was handled by the Visakhapatanam Port in the city here Monday. The long-cherished dream was realised when the vessel weighing 74,000 tonnes was berthed at EQ-8 belonging to Vizag Seaport Private Limited in the inner harbour area and imported petroleum coke for Andhra Cements and Ambuja Cements.
The Vizag port took up dredging work in May 2013 and spent about `250 crore to ready the inner harbour to berth the massive vessel. The dredging work is nearly completed with a depth of 16.1 metre to handle all types of fully laden Panamax vessels in the inner harbour.
“Berthing of fully laden Panamax vessels in the inner harbour of the port is a milestone event and users will benefit immensely by substantial savings in freight on account of reduced waiting time and improved turnaround time,” stated MT Krishna Babu, chairman of the Visakhapatnam Port Trust. He was confident that the latest achievement would help the port to provide facilities for handling fully laden Panamax vessels which would in turn substantially increase the volumes of cargo to the port.
The trade circles have expressed their satisfaction over the commitment and dedicated efforts of the Visakhapatnam Port in deepening the inner harbour channels, making this a landmark event. The Port staff are confident of handling more Panamax vessels in future.