Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Investors flock to Vizhinjam

The Investors' Meet held yesterday for the Vizhinjam Deepwater Container Transshipment Terminal project was a grand success, with a total of 43 international and national majors attending it.

The $ 1 billion project is slated to be the deepest port in India with a natural depth of 18 m and upto 25 m with some capital dredging. To put this into perspective, there are only a handful ports which can boast these kind of draughts across the World - Rotterdam and Tangshang being two which come to mind. This extent of draught is required to handle the biggest ships in the world - currently supertankers (ULCCs) and bulk carriers, and soon ultra-large container ships (of 10,000+ TEU capacity). In shipping, bigger is certainly better because it means cheaper carrying costs.

And all this with minimal maintenance dredging, the periodic silt removal which has to be done at estuarine and riverine ports like Kochi and Kolkata to ensure that operating depths are maintained. Even then these ports struggle to reach 12.5 - 14 m depths, despite massive annual dredging budgets which shackle their profitability and question their viability given competition from deep water ports.

Vizhinjam, to repeat a much belaboured point, is also very close to the international shipping lanes. The proof is in the photo below, entitled "Supertanker crossover"! This makes it ideal as a transshipment port, which is intended to create a hub-and-spoke model of cargo movement. Large mother-ships will have to make minimal deviations from their international routes to call at Vizhinjam. This means they can complete their itinerary of major ports with the greatest speed and lowest cost. This is what makes ports located on major international shipping routes like Singapore, Colombo, Dubai, Shanghai, Miami and Long Beach into transshipment hubs. Vizhinjam is already in the right place for this.

And here are some of the investors who attended the meet:

International Investors include (clickable links):

Indian include (clickable links):

The tender documents are due out in May. The tender will be finalised by November. It will take another 8-12 months to finalise design, obtain financial closure and complete preliminary civil works. Actual port construction is now scheduled for around December 2008.


  1. Hi Ajay, just found ur site today, I'm a Trivandrum native as well...good to know there are people who care about the city, when I lived there I remember trivandrum was always considered 2nd best after cochin, hopefully things are changing....ur pictures
    are spectacular...esp those MG Road demolition ones, keep up the excellent work.


  2. seems you will die for TVM. good, hope vizhinjam happens, for that will change the future.. but i am worried, that port , if in full swing, would be enuf to turn kovalam beaches greasy with oil..NH 47 jam packed with trailor trucks and vast areas of coconut trees cut flat to make way for warehouses..

    If you dont believe this, come see JNPT ports in Mumbai..the area covered is easily more than the dist of tvm:))

    I certainly appreciate ur penchant for devolopment, but i fear, kerala is looking the wrong way..
    The states biggest positives are brain and prestine environment. Not land and natural resources..

    Bring the brains back through tech parks(minimum polluting) and sell the locations..(we have to keep it clean to sell)..these two will positively add to a better Kerala..

    This is a personal opinion


Thanks for your comment, I will take a look at it and put it up at the earliest.