Vizhinjam international sea port set to begin trial operations, says Kerala Port Minister

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 9 (PTI) The trial operation of Kerala's dream project, Vizhinjam Port, will commence with the arrival of a container ship from China on July 12, said state Port Minister V N Vasavan here on Tuesday.

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/October 2024.

"With preparations underway for the port's full commissioning, trial operations are set to begin. The first container ship, 'San Fernando', is expected to arrive at Vizhinjam on July 11, 2024. The inaugural ceremony, scheduled for July 12, will be attended by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who will receive the first container ship," Vasavan said.

The ship, with a capacity of 8,000 to 9,000 TEUs, which set sail from Xiamen Port in China, will unload 2,000 containers at Vizhinjam.

The ship will utilise the services of Vizhinjam Port for the handling of 400 containers, and the port will provide international standard services. This marks the beginning of regular commercial ship services, including container ships, at Vizhinjam Port, the minister told reporters.

The ceremony, starting at 10 am, will be graced by the presence of Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, central and state ministers, dignitaries, officials, and representatives of the public.

Thousands of people are expected to witness the historic event.

The minister said that construction works have been completed to provide world-class services, paving the way for international vessels to call at the port.

The trial operation, starting on July 12, will continue for 2-3 months. During this period, the port will witness the arrival of large vessels.

Within a few weeks of the trial operation, a large container ship with a length of around 400 meters will arrive at the port. The full commissioning of the port is expected to happen in September/October.

Leading shipping companies worldwide will follow suit.

Large vessels will unload containers at the port and then leave, making way for smaller vessels to arrive at Vizhinjam and transport these containers to various ports in the country and abroad. This will mark the beginning of full-scale transshipment operations at Vizhinjam Port, the minister added. PTI TGB TGB ROH

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