A total of 33 companies, including 10 foreign, are participating in the Global Investors' Meet to be held on Tuesday to rope in partners to develop an international deepwater port at Vizhinjam.
The project is proposed to be executed by public-private partnership (PPP) on built-operator-transfer (BOT) basis at an estimated cost of 1.015 billion dollars in different phases, official sources said.
Conceived as an international deepwater container and transhipment terminal, the port will become the South Asian hub, considering its natural advantages of 20 m depth with no littoral drift and proximity to East-West global shipping corridor.
Experts said the port will be able to cater to container vessels of up to 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in the phase I and 10,000-12,000 TEU in subsequent phases.
Although a pact with a consortium led by two Chinese companies had almost gone through two years ago, it did not materialise as the Centre refused security clearance to the proposal.