Mega container terminal for Chennai port approved

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The government Tuesday approved development of a mega container terminal worth Rs.3,686 crore at Chennai port to boost exports and imports in the region and cut down on freight and shipping costs.

The decision to develop the container terminal was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said an official statement.

The terminal will be developed on a ‘Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis’ under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode with a concession period of 30 years, said the statement.

Quoting Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, the statement said the private parties given the contract to develop the container terminal will invest Rs.3,125 crore, while the Chennai Port will invest Rs.561 crore.

The first phase of the project will be completed by 2013 and the full project will be completed by 2017.

After development of the container terminal, Chennai Port will compete with international ports and reduce the need for transshipment from Singapore and Colombo, said the statement, adding that the terminal can handle ultra large container vessels and deep draft vessels.

There has been sharp growth in container volume in Chennai Port in recent years. At present there are two container terminals with a capacity of 2 million TEUs (twenty equivalent unit, an unit to measure container volume).

The mega container terminal will have the capacity to handle 4 million TEUs per annum.

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