First mothership docks at Kerala's Vizhinjam international transhipment port

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 11 (PTI) Container ship, 'San Fernando', from China, berthed at Kerala's Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) on Thursday marks the first arrival of such a vessel at India's largest transhipment port.

The mothership was given a water salute by four tugs, which piloted it to the dock.

San Fernando, a 300-meter-long cargo ship, will offload 1,900 containers at VISL on Friday, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launching the port's first phase of operations.

The mothership carries large containers which will be transferred to other ships and later transported to other ports in the country and abroad.

The inaugural ceremony will be attended by several dignitaries, including Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Central and state ministers, officials, and members of the public.

"The dream is approaching the shore. The first mothership is reaching Kerala's Vizhinjam port. San Fernando will be officially welcomed on behalf of Kerala tomorrow," Vijayan in Facebook post said on Thursday.

Equipped with modern equipment and advanced automation and IT systems, Vizhinjam will become India's first semi-automated port, expected to be fully commissioned in September or October 2024.

"It is a natural port with depths between 20 and 24 meters. We have found that the ocean bottom here is rocky, which is very rare. Elsewhere, we would have to dredge to attain such depths," Kerala Minister for Ports and Cooperatives V N Vasavan said. PTI RRT RRT KH