Vizhinjam Port to be commercially commissioned in May 2024

Thiruvananthapuram: The Adani-run Vizhinjam Port, being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 7,700 crore, will be commercially commissioned in May 2024, Kerala Minister for Ports Ahammed Devarkovil said on Wednesday.

He said 90 per cent of the port construction work has been completed, and the first ship from China, carrying cranes for use in premises, will be docking at Vizhinjam in September as an Onam gift to the people of Kerala.

“The port will have a berth of 800 metres, and the work for 400 metres is complete. Any big ship in the world can dock at a 400-metre berth,” Devarkovil said in a meet-the-press programme here.

The breakwater structure construction planned at 3,100 metres is progressing, and as of now, 2,350 metres have been completed.

The Minister said there is no shortage in the availability of boulders for the breakwater structure as boulders have been brought from Tamil Nadu, and seven quarries in Kerala were given permission to meet the requirement.

“I had personally met the Tamil Nadu minister, and now we have a steady supply from there. Boulders are now being stored and will be deposited in the sea after the monsoon season,” the Minister said.

With regard to the compound wall construction, an issue the Adani Group has been raising frequently, the Minister said the relocation of the church in the area has been agreed upon in principle.

“They have agreed to relocate the church but have put forward some demands. The government is considering those demands, and this issue will be solved soon,” the Minister said.

The government is also planning to develop its smaller ports — 17 of them — to handle cargo connectivity with Vizhinjam using smaller vessels. The idea is to take cargo transportation away from roads so that vehicular traffic can be less clogged and safer.

“The plan is on, and a shipping company is now working on a detailed project report,” Devarkovil said.

The Vizhinjam port is being constructed in the public-private partnership model.

The Adani Group is the private partner in the development of Vizhinjam port, which is going to be one of the largest ports in the world once commissioned.

The project, which was scheduled to be commissioned in 2019, got delayed due to several issues related to land acquisition.

Vizhinjam had also witnessed violent protests as fishermen in the area opposed the project, alleging that the port could adversely affect their livelihood.