The Visakhapatnam Port Trust, which is on a massive expansion mode, has expressed its willingness to develop a captive jetty at Pudimadaka, about 60 km from here, to handle imported coal required for the NTPC’s 1,000 MWx4 Greenfield power plant coming up in the area. The power plant proposed at Pudimadaka with an investment of Rs.26,828 crore will be needing 13.7 million tonne of imported coal to achieve over 90 per cent plant load factor.
After the NTPC management sought the expertise of the VPT, the port management conveyed its consent, provided all permissions were obtained in due course.
As the Naval Alternate Operations Base (NAOB) by the Indian Navy to park nuclear-powered submarines and the new campus of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre are coming up in the area, clearance from the Navy authorities is a prerequisite.
Asked to comment on the issue, VPT Chairman M.T. Krishna Babu told that they would build the jetty if the required clearances were obtained. He, however, clarified that the proposal was still in a nascent stage. The environmental public hearing for the power plant was held at Pudimadaka on August 12. The State government, which allotted 1,200 acres for the power plant, has already given fast-track status to the project as it will help Andhra Pradesh become a power surplus State.
VPT is being transformed into a landlord port as per the policy of the Ministry of Shipping by taking up expansion and mechanisation involving BOT partners. It is expecting to achieve a cargo handling capacity of 124 million tonne by 2016-17 from the present 85 million tonne per annum.
Visakhapatnam Port has already informed the State government its willingness to pick up majority stake in the proposed major port at Dugarajapatnam in Nellore district and develop an integrated logistics and warehousing park in 500 acres near Tadi.