The State government’s plan to construct landlord ports at Bhavanapadu (Srikakulam district), Ramayapatnam (Prakasam) and Machilipatnam (Krishna) is intended to give further boost to the maritime trade being largely done now by the State’s only major port at Visakhapatnam and the thriving private ports at Krishnapatnam (Nellore), Gangavaram (Visakhapatnam) and Kakinada (East Godavari).

According to official sources, the Krishnapatnam, Ganagavaram and Kakinada ports together are handling over 100 million tonnes (mtT) of cargo every year on an average.

The Krishnapatnam port alone is handling 55 MT and it is followed by the Gangavaram port which accounts for about 35 MT.

The Kakinada deepwater port is handling approximately 15 MT a year, up from a maximum of 4 MT two decades ago.

The government recently got three additional berths constructed at the Kakinada port at a cost of ₹300 crore taking their total number to nine.

The public sector port at Visakhapatnam is handling about 65 MT every year.

Tenders are under preparation for the Bhavanapadu and Machilipatnam ports.

With a draft of 19 metres, the proposed Bhavanapadu port has been planned to accommodate vessels of 1.20 lakh to 1.80 lakh Dead Weight Tons (DWT) whereas the Ramayapatnam port (with 15.50 metres draft) was designed to receive vessels weighing up to 85,000 DWT.

The first phase of the Bhavanapadu port is estimated to cost ₹3,700 crore while the cost of the first phase of the Ramayapatnam port is pegged at about ₹3,750 crore.

The long-pending port at Machilipatnam is the costliest of all (first phase) entailing an expenditure of roughly ₹5,840 crore. The State’s only captive port in the Ravva oil field in East Godavari district continues to be of strategic importance by virtue of export of substantial quantities of oil and natural gas by Cairn Energy.