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Adani Group's Vizhinjam Port welcomes first mothership: What this means?

The 'San Fernando' container ship, which is 300 metres long and 48 metres wide, will offload about 1,900 containers at the port on Friday

San Fernando Mothership, Kerala

Vizhinjam Seaport welcoming its first mothership 'San Fernando' on Thursday, July 11. (Photo: X/@PortOfVizhinjam)

Nisha Anand New Delhi

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A container ship named ‘San Fernando’ arrived from China at Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VISL) in Kerala on Thursday, marking the first-ever arrival of such a vessel at India’s largest transhipment port.

The ‘mothership’, which arrived from Xiamen port in China, received a ceremonial water salute from four tugboats as it was berthed at the port.

The ship, 300 metres long and 48 metres wide, will offload about 1,900 containers at the port on Friday, an event which will be graced by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s presence.

Vijayan will launch the port’s first phase of operations.

What is a mothership?

A mothership is a term used to describe a large ship or vessel that serves as a base for smaller vessels or operations. It carries large containers which are then offloaded to other ships and then to other ports in the country and around the world.

Kerala CM welcomes San Fernando

“The dream is approaching the shore. The first mothership is reaching Kerala’s Vizhinjam port,” Vijayan in a Facebook post said on Thursday. He remarked that the ship will be given an official welcome on behalf of the whole state tomorrow.

Vizhinjam is set to emerge as India’s first semi-automated port. According to the officials, it is expected to be fully commissioned by September 2024.

Earlier, Kerala Minister V N Vasavan shared that the VISL is a natural port with depths between 20 and 24 metres. This allows large vessels and motherships to enter the port.

The seafloor at the port site is composed of rock, which is a rare finding. “Elsewhere, we would have to dredge to attain such depths,” Vasavan noted. Around Rs 7,525 crore is needed to fund the first phase of the project, of which Adani Group has reportedly invested Rs 4,500 crore.

[With inputs from PTI]

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First Published: Jul 11 2024 | 5:49 PM IST

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