Kerala's Vizhinjam Port Welcomes Inaugural Mother Ship

Kerala's Vizhinjam International Seaport made history on Thursday as it welcomed its first mother ship, "San Fernando," signaling a new era of growth and prosperity for the state.
Kerala's Vizhinjam Port Welcomes Inaugural Mother Ship

Kerala's Vizhinjam International Seaport made history on Thursday as it welcomed its first mother ship, "San Fernando," signaling a new era of growth and prosperity for the state. The ship, originating from Sri Lanka, arrived at the port around 7 am, guided into the dock by a harbor pilot amidst a grand water salute. Thousands of eager spectators gathered nearby to witness the arrival of the massive vessel. A large tugboat, Ocean Prestige, and three smaller tugboats collaborated to berth the ship, marking a significant milestone in the port’s history.

Vizhinjam Port, India’s first deep-water container transhipment facility, features a natural draft of 18-20 meters, making it an ideal hub for the world’s largest container vessels.. Strategically located just 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala’s capital, the port benefits from its proximity to the bustling International East-West shipping route. Once fully operational, Vizhinjam Seaport aims to rival top international ports like Colombo, Salalah, and Singapore, competing for a substantial share of global container transhipment traffic.

The vessel, with a capacity of 8,000 to 9,000 TEUs, sailed from Xiamen Port in China and was expected to offload approximately 2,000 containers at Vizhinjam Port. Additionally, the port will handle 400 containers, providing international-standard services and showcasing its capabilities and efficiency. After a special ceremony on Friday, July 12, the ship will depart for Colombo. The arrival of "San Fernando" marks the beginning of the trial run for Kerala's ambitious Vizhinjam Port project.

Vizhinjam Port is India's first semi-automated port, equipped with modern equipment and advanced technology. It is set to be fully operational by September-October 2024. Kerala Port Minister V N Vasavan informed the media that trial operations would commence immediately, with full commissioning of the port expected soon. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Port Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will attend the opening ceremony on Friday. Minister Vasavan stated that the port is ready to handle large ships, including container ships, and will offer world-class services to international vessels. The trial operation, expected to last two to three months, will involve the arrival of large vessels, including a 400-meter-long container ship. Small vessels will then transport containers to other ports in India and abroad, initiating full-scale transhipment operations.

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