Kerala’s much-delayed flagship project – Vizhinjam Port – finally appears to be nearing completion.
According to the state government, the first mother ship from China with 40 cranes will arrive in September and dock at the port.
The port authorities also indicate that the port is expected to be fully operational in September 2024.
Once completed, the port will be vital not only for Kerala but for the whole country as 80 percent of transhipments to India currently taking place in Colombo, Singapore and Dubai will arrive in Vizhinjam.
During Adani’s launch of the port on December 5, 2015, Gautam Adani announced that the first ship would dock there on September 1, 2018, in a record time of less than 1,000 days.
Established during the Congress-led UDF government under Prime Minister Oommen Chandy (2011-16), works for the port began at the end of Chandy’s tenure, but after the takeover by the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the pace could slow for numerous reasons that were not followed become.
After Cyclone Ockhi hit the site in 2017, part of the constructed breakwater was washed away and since then the lack of limestone, the key raw material for the project, has caused another delay.
The total cost of the port project is 7,525 crore rupees, for which the state government has contributed 500 acres of land.
Although authorities now say the first mothership will dock in September, State Ports Minister Ahamed Devarkovil said last year that the first ship will dock in March 2023 and the first phase of the port is expected to be operational in September 2023.
Under the agreement, Adani will operate the port for 40 years, with an additional 20-year extension, while the state government will receive a portion of the port’s revenues after 15 years.
According to the project, a record 100,000 jobs will be created, including direct and indirect, and therefore the arrival of the first mothership in September is eagerly awaited.