PSA Sical manages the Port of Tuticorin, which handles both cargo and cruise ships. The Port of Tuticorin boasts an artificial deep-sea harbor with protecting breakwaters of about four kilometers. The north breakwater is 4.1 thousand meters long, and the south breakwater is 3.9 thousand meters. The Port of Tuticorin’s harbor basin covers 400 hectares of water with a 2400-meter-long, 183-meter wide approach channel.
The Port of Tuticorin’s goal is to be the leader in South India for bulk and general cargo and a high-speed container service. Today, the Port of Tuticorin can handle 20.6 million tons per year, and it has consistently met or surpassed its targets. With all-weather access, a location convenient to the world’s main shipping lines, plentiful land for expansions, minimal needs for dredging, and a record of operational efficiency, the Port of Tuticorin continues to be one of India’s most important ports.
The Port of Tuticorin contains 14 berthing stations with a total quay length of almost three thousand meters and alongside depths ranging from 5.85 to 10.9 meters. The Zone B berth, with a depth of three meters, can handle lighterage vessels. The Port of Tuticorin’s Berth VIII is 345 meters long with alongside depth of 10.9 meters and can accommodate vessels to 65 thousand DWT. The Port of Tuticorin’s container terminal has a 370-meter long quay with alongside depth of 10.9 meters and can accommodate vessels to 50 thousand DWT. There are also two shallow-water berths of a total length of 250 meters with alongside depth of 5.85 meters that can accommodate vessels to five thousand DWT.
The Port of Tuticorin owns 583.4 thousand square meters of storage space. Two covered transit sheds cover a total of 10.8 thousand square meters, and four warehouses cover 19.6 thousand square meters. There are 553 thousand square meters of open storage available with capacity to store 54 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo. Private owners in the Port of Tuticorin offer 459 thousand square meters of covered storage, including three transit sheds inside the port with capacity for 15 thousand cubic meters of cargo of Ph. Acid and one transit shed outside the port with capacity for ten thousand metric tons of liquid ammonia.
There are also 16 private warehouses inside the Port of Tuticorin covering 459 thousand square meters with capacity to store two thousand cubic meters of VCM. The container freight station has covered storage with capacity for five thousand cubic meters of VCM, capacity for 25.5 thousand metric tons of fuel oil, and capacity to store 140 metric tons of LSHF/HSD. Private operators also have open storage with capacity for 41.6 thousand kiloliters of naptha, 1.5 metric tons of LDO, 7.8 thousand kiloliters of EDC, and 10 thousand kiloliters of liquefied petroleum gas in the Port of Tuticorin.
PSA-SICAL operates the container terminal in the Port of Tuticorin. The terminal has two quay cranes, four FTG cranes, and uninterrupted power supply to 84 reefer plug points. The terminal also offers 30 thousand square meters of asphalt surface at the berth for stacking containers, 60 thousand square meters of secured fenced area for stacking stuffed containers, 70 thousand square meters of open space for stacking empty containers, and 15.6 thousand square meters of covered warehouse for stacking unloaded cargoes.
During the 2007-2008 shipping season, the Port of Tuticorin served 1602 vessels carrying 21.5 million tons of cargo, including 15.5 million tons of imports and six million tons of exports. Imports were dominated by coal (8 million tons), cement (4.3 million tons), and finished fertilizer (1.1 million tons). Other major imports included raw fertilizer materials, rock phosphate, petroleum products, petroleum coke, and edible oils. Exports (traveling to Europe, the United States, East Asia, Colombo, West Asia, and the Mediterranean) were dominated by general cargo (3.5 million tons), building materials (863.7 thousand tons), and liquid cargoes (693 thousand tons). Other exports included sugar, granite, and Iiminite ore. Cargoes included 450.4 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo with imports of 157.4 thousand TEUs and exports of 162.5 thousand TEUs.
Recognizing the need to expand to accommodate growing traffic and to compete with the Port of Colombo, the Tuticorin Port Trust is investing $1 billion in the Port of Tuticorin. Expansion will be accomplished in two phases. The harbor will be dredged to 12.8 meters in the first phase and to 14.5 in the second. Improvements may include upgrades to the breakwaters and approach channel to handle larger vessels. The Tuticorin Port Trust has also approved the construction of a second container terminal in the Port of Tuticorin. Planned expansions will increase capacity from the current 20.6 million tons to 40.6 million tons, and the port will be able to serve fourth-generation container vessels.
In addition to expansions in commercial traffic and capacity, the Port of Tuticorin will have a naval base to protect Gulf of Mannar. The Tuticorin Port Trust has agreed to provide 24 acres in the Port of Tuticorin estate to house the new naval base. Finally, the port is stimulating increased tourism in the state of Tamil Nadu. A new ferry now operates between Colombo and Tuticorin.