The Indian government has approved a $149 million project to build an iron ore handling facility at the port of Vizakhapatnam.The project, which will be taken forward as a public private partnership, will be developed into distinct phases, with the investment capital provided by the concessionaire.

Initially, work will consist of upgrading the existing mechanised iron ore handling facility in the outer harbour, costing approximately two thirds of the total investment. This will bring capacity up to 16.2mt (million tonnes) per year. As part of the second phase, a new mechanized facility will be built at the West Quay-1 berth in the inner Harbour, adding a further 6.8mt of annual capacity.

Phase 1 is due for completion by June 2015 and Phase 2 within two years of the commencement of operations.