Vizhinjam | Photo: G Binulal | Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Opening new business opportunities, Vizhinjam sea port will be declared as a crew-change and anchoring hub. Within last 2 months, 48 ships from all over the globe exchanged their crew via Vizhinjam port. The state government earned about Rs 50 lakh from this deals. This will open new job opportunities and business contracts here.
Apart from crew-change, the port will be a centre for delivering food and essentials to cargo ships, maintenance, filling fuel, bringing spare parts, cleaning tankers and other purposes. The ships will have to pay at least Rs 1 lakh per day as fee for this facility. With this, the state will get income for as many days as the ships anchor in the coastal region.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will declare Vizhinjam as international crew-change and anchoring hub on Tuesday. With this, the Kerala Maritime Board will be able to take up the business in this sector with government aid. Though they cannot ensure all basic amenities, Kerala Maritime Board managed to arrange crew exchange successfully.
In the initial phase, crew change was held in fishing boats instead of tugs. But international shipping companies expressed interest to continue crew change at Vizhinjam. However, the government have to provide assistance to arrange better facilities including bunkering terminal for future.
During crew change, more navy officers from India and abroad will reach and stay here. This will be helpful for the tourism sector. After Vizhinjam is declared as international hub for crew-change, more global agencies will come here improving job opportunities and business possibilities, experts opined.