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Monday, May 13, 2002

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Vizag port anchored on new cargoes

Our Bureau

IN a bid to partially offset the projected fall in thermal coal cargo, the Vizag port has set itself on an active marketing drive to get new cargoes.

The port's immediate focus is on new cargoes, such as peas and lentils, which were imported in small quantities in the last fiscal. The port, which has initiated a dialogue with the All India Pulses Association for routing the imports of the two cargoes through Vizag port on a regular basis, is expecting to handle over 5 lakh tonnes of these cargoes this fiscal, authoritative sources told Business Line.

Both peas and lentils are imported from Canada and Australia and are consumed extensively in such States as West Bengal and Bihar. Though the consumption of these two products is low in Andhra Pradesh, the port is keen on handling the import cargoes, offering a clutch of incentives to the importers.

For one, the port has assured the importers that as soon as the import consignments arrive, the mandatory certificates, like those of the Port Health Officer and the Quarantine Department, would be issued immediately. Also, ships carrying these cargoes will be given preference in berthing.

Further, the port has informed the importers that they could import these two cargoes in old vessels, which are normally not preferred by the port, so that they could save on freight.

The port's cardinal marketing plank is that it has the infrastructure to handle 6,000-7,000 tonnes per day, with zero pre-berthing detention.

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