VISAKHAPATNAM: Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh and Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari flagged off the first shipment of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), through sea routes on Wednesday. Chaudhary Birender Singh was present at the at Visakhapatnam Port, while Nitin Gadkari digitally flagged off the shipment from New Delhi through a video conference.
With the Sagarmala Project in mind, RINL authorities signed an agreement for one year for a pilot project with Mumbai-based domestic shipping company Shreyas Shipping & Logistics Ltd (SSL) to transport 2.25 lakh tonnes of steel products from Vizag to the RINL stockyards at Ahmedabad, Kochi and Mumbai.
“ It is a historic development for the RINL as the steel plant has taken a commendable decision to explore into the seaway transportation. This is a way to decrease the transportation cost and check environmental pollution,” said the steel minister.
“India’s steel production has reached 40 million tonne per annum and the RINL is now producing 4.5 MT and will attain 5 MT by the 2018-19. By the seaway transportation, the country will save nearly `35,000 crore, a 20 per cent decrease in the overall logistics cost,” he said.
Giving more details, Nitin Gadkari said the movement of cargo through coastal shipping has inherent advantages over land modes of transport as it is more cost-effective, causes less pollution, reduces congestion on land and can cater to huge parcel sizes. “The RINL was, till now, transporting its products to 22 stockyards through road and rail mode. Shipping transportation is significant as RINL has doubled its production capacity to 6.3 million tonnes per annum,” Gadkari said.