Tuticorin Port

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Tuticorin Port, also known as the V.O. Chidambaranar Port, is located on the east coast of India at Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. It is operated by the V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust.

Tuticorin is among several Indian ports that are ramping up coal loading capabilities to cater to rising import demand.[1] Since 2009, the port has initiated construction of four new coal berths, in accordance with Ministry of Shipping targets that originally called for Tuticorin's annual coal import capacity to rise to 24 million tonnes by 2014-15 and 30 million tonnes by 2019-20.[2] As of 2018, the port's annual coal import capacity is expected to reach 24 million tonnes by 2019.[3]

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The port is one of the 12 major ports of India, and was declared to be a major port on July 11, 1974. It is the second-largest port in Tamil Nadu and fourth-largest container terminal in India. Tuticorin Port is the third international port in Tamil Nadu and its second all-weather port.[4]

Traffic handling at Tuticorin Port exceeded 10 million metric tons between April 1 and September 13, 2008, registering a growth rate of over 12 percent compared to the corresponding previous year figure of 8.96 million tons.[5]

By 2014, annual traffic at the port had surpassed 28 million metric tons. An April 2014 article in the Times of India cited Tuticorin as one of India's fastest growing ports, noting that its existing annual cargo capacity of 33.34 million tons was set to increase to 85.73 million tons upon completion of expansion projects, including the Transstroy - OJSC Consortium's development of North Cargo Berth-IV for thermal coal and copper concentrate and the construction of a shallow draught berth for cement and related raw materials.[6]


Coal imports through Tuticorin Port have grown steadily. In 2009 the port announced that it would develop coal handling facilities at its North Cargo Berth (NCB-1) for the state-run Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC). Project annual capacity for the new coal berth was 5 million tons.[7] In August 2010, ABG Infralogistics (subsequently renamed Starlog Enterprises[8] and collaborating as an equal partner with Louis Dreyfus Armateurs S.A. in the Indo-French joint venture Alba Asia)[9] was selected as developer of a second coal berth (NCB-II)[10], with an annual capacity of 10 million tons. In December 2012, Transstroy (India) Ltd emerged as the high bidder for construction of two additional coal berths (NCB-III and NCB-IV), each with an annual capacity of 7.28 million tons.[11] Plans call for NCB-III to handle thermal coal and rock phosphate, with NCB-IV handling coal and copper concentrates.[12]

Coal imports through Tuticorin Port reached 9.3 million tonnes in the 2011-12 fiscal year and 10.6 million tonnes in 2012-13. Most of the coal imported through Tuticorin comes from Indonesia and Australia.[13] Thermal coal imports in FY2017 increased to 10.824 million tonnes.[3]

The Tuticorin Thermal Power Station, which is owned and operated by the Tamilnadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, is adjacent to the coal handling terminal.

Since 2009, the port has initiated construction of four new coal berths (North Cargo Berth I-IV), which will increase the port's total capacity from 33 million tonnes to more than 85 million tonnes by 2016. The expansion is in accordance with Ministry of Shipping targets that call for Tuticorin's annual coal import capacity to rise to 24 million tonnes by 2014-15 and 30 million tonnes by 2019-20.[14] In 2014, the Indian government announced ambitious long-term expansion plans for the port, proposing the construction of 17 new berths in Tuticorin's outer harbor between 2019 and 2043. The proposed outer harbor expansion would include development of six new coal berths and would increase the port's overall capacity by an additional 338 million tonnes.[15]

In January 2018, Alba Asia opened a new coal terminal at the port capable of handling fully loaded Panamax vessels. The new terminal, whose capacity is listed in press reports as 10 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), is projected to help raise Tuticorin's coal handling capacity to 24 mtpa by 2019, with 5 to 5.5 million tonnes to be supplied each year to the Mutiara Coastal Energen Thermal Power Plant.[3] Alba Asia's website continues to list the new terminal's capacity as 14 mtpa.[16]

Project Details

  • Operator: V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust
  • Location: Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Existing Capacity (Tonnes per annum): 33 million (all cargo), 10 million (coal)
  • Additional Proposed Capacity (Tonnes per annum): 52 million (all cargo), plus 14 million coal terminal
  • Status: Expansion in various stages of construction
  • Type: Imports
  • Projected in service: 2018
  • Cost of expansion:
  • Financing for expansion:
  • Coal Source: Indonesia and Australia

Articles and Resources


  1. "India’s 12 big ports see first signs of revival in cargo growth", LiveMint, October 17, 2014.
  2. "Tuticorin port plans capacity expansion" The Hindu Business Line, February 13, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "ALBA Asia to open coal terminal at VO Chidambaranar port" The Hindu Business Line, January 4, 2018.
  4. "Tuticorin Port Trust" Wikipedia, accessed February 2015.]
  5. "Tuticorin Port handling crosses 100 lakh t" The Hindu Business Line, September 16, 2008.
  6. "VO Chidambaranar Port in Tuticorin Handles 286.42 lakh tonnes in FY 2013-14" The Times of India, April 1, 2014.
  7. "Tuticorin Port to invest Rs 700cr for coal handling facilities" T E Narasimham/Chennai May, Business Standard, May 25, 2009.
  8. "Financial Results for the Quarter Ended 31st March 2016" SBG World, March 2016.
  9. "Promoters" Alba Asia website, accessed March 2018.
  10. "ABG Infralogistics to pay record ‘revenue share' to Tuticorin port" The Hindu Business Line, August 7, 2010.
  11. "Transstroy may win coal loading berths at VO Chidambaranar port" LiveMint, January 10, 2013.
  12. "7 infra majors in fray for cargo berths at Chidambaranar Port" The Hindu Business Line, December 25, 2012.
  13. "Surge in coal import" The Hindu Business Line, October 7, 2013.
  14. "Tuticorin port plans capacity expansion" The Hindu Business Line, February 13, 2013.
  15. "Tuticorin gets ready to harness its potential" The Business Standard, August 4, 2014.
  16. "14 million ton mega coal terminal at Tuticorin," Alba, accessed March 2018.

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Tuticorin Port. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.