Meanwhile, sources said OR 1 and 2 berths will be modernized at a cost of Rs 200 crore over a period of two to three years to handle panamax vessels in the coming days. “We have taken approval from the board for going ahead with the project. IIT Chennai will make the estimates for the project and the modernization will be executed in phases without disturbing the existing operations. At the end of the modernization, we’ll be able to handle three panamax vessels. We are handling vessels with displacement of about 25,000 tonnes now and once the modernization is completed, the berths will be able to handle 80,000 tonnes vessels as the draft will be increased from 9.5 metres to around 15 metres,” said a VPT official. Modernizing the oil refinery berths would increase the handling capacity from the existing 2.8 million tonnes capacity to around 5 million tonnes, sources said.
Also, sources said that during the meeting, proposal for road connectivity was also discussed. “The detailed project reports for the road connectivity projects of the port are being prepared. Once it is ready, we will know the estimates and the structure of cost sharing for the project will have to be worked out. It is expected to take around two to three months for the DPR to be completed,” the official added.