To overcome the problem posed by surface movement of
thermal coal required by Thermal Power Stations (TPS) of Tamil Nadu
Electricity Board (TNEB) for sustaining power generation activity, the
Government of Tamil Nadu decided in December, 1973 to create an agency in
the State Sector for organizing ocean movement of coal. Pursuant to the
decision, POOMPUHAR SHIPPING CORPORATION LIMITED (PSC) was incorporated on
11th April, 1974 under the Companies Act, 1956.
In the formative period, following its incorporation, the Company carried on
its coal moving activity with the help of two second-hand vessels (m.v.
Tamil Anna with a capacity of 7750 DWT acquired on 9th December, 1974 and
m.v. Tamil Periyar with a capacity of 11250 DWT acquired on 20th December,
1974) which were finally scrapped in January, 1979 and February, 1981
respectively, in view of their uneconomic operations.
Since the decommissioning of the two second-hand vessels, the Company
persisted with the arrangement of transporting coal to TNEB’s Thermal Power
Stations through vessels taken on time charter.
In Company’s assessment, the most economical and optimum transportation of
coal was achievable if only coal was transported through its own vessels.
With this aim in view, the Company began building up a fleet of its own
vessels through phased induction, in the first stage of three bulk carriers
(m.v. Tamil Anna with 39985 DWT in August 1985, m.v. Tamil Periyar with
39990 DWT in September 1986 and m.v. Tamil Kamaraj with 39990 DWT in
January, 1987) specially designed to suit the limited draft conditions
between Haldia and Tuticorin Ports into its service, purchasing them through
Global Tenders from a Japanese Ship building Company using funds borrowed
from a foreign branch of nationalized bank (Tokyo Branch of State Bank of
India) and a foreign bank (Bank of Tokyo). These three vessels are modern
bulk carriers equipped with latest navigational facilities and other safety
A repair workshop for the FELs was established at a cost
of Rs.10 lakhs close to the Coal Jetty and started functioning from July,
1989. The Workshop possess adequate facilities to undertake the servicing
and all types of repairs to Front End Loaders. This has reduced down time on
the Front End Loaders since commissioning the Workshop has resulted in
approx. 20% increase in the rate of coal discharge.
Since there was also need to undertake marine repairs for our own vessels
particularly related to the cranes, grabs other ship board machinery and
ship’s structure, the workshop has now been equipped with general purpose
machines, such as lathe, drilling machine, welding set etc. Skilled workmen
suitable for undertaking ship repair work have been recruited for marine
workshop. However, in the meantime, any major overhaul of ship’s cranes,
grabs another machinery are being undertaken by engaging casual / contract
labourers besides getting assistance from other available workshops.
In addition to the above repairs, we have been able to undertake repairs to
some of the Coast Guard vessels stationed at Tuticorin Port. It is hoped
that in the years to come, with additional trained skilled manpower marine
workshop at Tuticorin will be able to undertake all kinds of repair works
not only for our own vessels, but also for other vessels calling at