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Ports-gateways to trade...

A classic case study could be the ports of Tamil Nadu, which helped the state attract FDIs in several sectors. The three major ports and 17 minor ports in the state are acting as gateways for imports and exports and cater to various industries. Realising the importance of the sector,the Vision 2023 has lined up projects worth Rs 15,000 crore.

Amongst the Indian maritime states, Gujarat has the longest coastline of about 1600 km with one major port and 40 minor ports. Tamil Nadu has the second longest coastline (1076 km) with 3 major ports and 17 minor ports. Keeping in line with the maritime history and in realising the need for growth in the maritime sector, the Tamil Nadu Port Department was converted into Tamil Nadu Maritime Board.

These ports handle crude oil, edible oil, machinery, cement, liquid ammonia, naphtha, coal, fertilizer, petroleum products,... In 2013-14 minor ports handled 866,333 tonnes of cargo. The state has set a target to attract 50 MT of traffic in the next five years for minor ports and increase it to 150 MT in the subsequent five years. The state has invited private investors - L&T, Adani, DP World, PSA, MARG...  PE funds that have flowed to ports development include 3I, GIC, Eton Park, Jacob Balls, Standard Chartered and Warbug Pincus.

Tamil Nadu Vision 2023 envisages an addition of cargo handling capacity of 150 MT through green field ports and five minor ports. The state maritime board is planning to develop greenfield projects at Nagapattinam and Cuddalore to cater to the industrial clusters in the region. Some of the projects in the pipeline are ports at Silambimangalam, Rameswaram, Valinokkam and Kanyakumari.

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