labels: investments, ports
Kerala to lure Rs 50-billion private investment to revamp ports news
Jays Jacob
25 October 2002

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala will try to lure private investment by offering major projects to revamp its ports. The state, which has 590-km-long coastline, has just one major port in Kochi. Now it wants to upgrade many among its 16 smaller harbours.

The government hopes to develop the ports in Thangaserry, Alappuzha, Ponnani, Beypore and Azhikkal with private investment. The expected total cost is estimated at Rs 50 billion.

“The international consultant company PricewaterhouseCoopers has completed the feasibility study and we will showcase these projects in the Global Investors’ Meet to be held in Kochi in January 2003,” says Kerala Ports Minister M V Raghavan.

Vizhinjam near Kovalam, on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, is another port the government wants to focus on. But a feasibility study in the area is still on and officials are not sure if Vizhinjam port could be put on the table at the investors’ meet.

Past studies estimated that it would take about Rs 25 billion to make Vizhinjam port among the best in India. Experts say the advantage of Vizhinjam is that ships could lay anchor there without any dredging work required. Besides, the port lies just 10 nautical miles from the international shipping route.

Apart from the major port in Kochi, Kerala has three intermediate ports and 13 minor ports, none of which does much business. The total tonnage handled by the 13 minor ports came to just 100,000 last year, whereas Kochi handled 12.8 million tonnes.

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Kerala to lure Rs 50-billion private investment to revamp ports