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VPT plans to modernize two oil refinery berths

Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is planning to modernize two of its oil refinery berths – OR 1 and 2 – to handle bigger vessels in the coming days. According to VPT sources, the major port will be undertaking the modernisation of the two berths at an estimated cost of around Rs 200 crore. Once done, it will increase the two berths’s capacity from the existing 2.8 million tonnes to around 5 million tonnes.

VPT sources said IIT Chennai would be providing the detailed engineering designs for the modernization of the two berths following which the major port will undertake the civil works. The proposed project is expected to be placed before the VPT board soon.

“As of now, the berths have a draft of around 9.5 metres and they are very old. We want to increase the draft to around 14.5 metres once the modernization is completed,” said a senior VPT official adding that as part of the modernisation process, a jetty will be constructed to fill up the gap between the fertiliser berths and OR 1 berth.

“IIT Chennai team is expected to take around three months to give us the scheme of the project and thereafter modernization of each berth will take around one year each. Overall, the project is expected to take around three years as it involves deepening of the channel and dismantling of the existing berths before construction of the new one,” the official said.

 “Once we have completed the modernization of the berths, fuel companies such as HPCL, BPCL and the others can use the facility for handling oil that will be brought to the port,” he added.
At the same time, VPT is also planning to undertake repairs on the OSTT (Offshore Tanker Terminal), which was damaged by cyclone Hudhud. “Bids have been invited for the project and it is likely to be finalized in the next 15 days,” said another VPT official. He mentioned that even though initially the restoration of the OSTT was expected to cost around Rs 100 crore, it would be taken up at a revised estimate of around Rs 25 crore following alternate suggestions provided by an expert team from IIT Chennai.
While, the OSTT is used for handling crude oil, the OR 1 and 2 berths are used for handling petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) and other refined products such as naptha, diesel among others.
Incidentally, VPT has handled around 15.8 million tonnes of POL during the current fiscal from April 2015 to February 2016 as against 13.4 million tonnes during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

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