FACT to renovate its dedicated berth at Cochin Port Trust

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on February 11, 2021

Aims to increase production capacity

FACT intends to increase its fertiliser production capacity to 15 lakh tonnes from the present 10 lakh tonnes with an additional Complex Fertiliser plant at the Cochin Division. With the proposed expansion and improvement in storage facilities and other logistics, the fertiliser firm is to enhance its port operation volumes by 30 per cent in the next three years.

FACT’s Q3 net jumps to all-time high on higher fertiliser sales

Towards this, the company is in the process of reconstructing its dedicated South Coal Berth (SCB) at Cochin Port Trust based on the study conducted by the National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts for the reconstruction of the berth.

The total cost of reconstruction is estimated at around ₹20 crore wherein the Shipping Ministry has approved 50 per cent funding of the cost under the Sagarmala scheme, Kishor Rungta, Chairman and Managing Director of FACT, said.

FACT crosses production milestone

The balance amount will be shared equally between the port and FACT, which will be adjusted against future wharfage charges for the company’s ammonia import, he told BusinessLine.

The design works are completed, and the reconstruction work would commence soon; it is scheduled to be completed in 12 months. To ensure availability of imported ammonia during the period of reconstruction, the company will be shifting its ammonia unloading facility temporarily to Q1 berth, he said.

PM visit likely

Meanwhile, industry sources said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone for the SCB renovation work on his visit to Kochi scheduled for Sunday.

The dedicated berth to handle ammonia imports was commissioned in 1976 and FACT has handled 673 ammonia ships (3.84 million tonnes) since its inception. The company is also maintaining an ammonia handling installation with a storage tank and associated facilities for unloading from ships and loading into barges and trucks at Willingdon Island in the land allotted by the port on long-term lease.

The company also imports raw materials such as ammonia, sulphur, rock phosphate, phosphoric acid and sulphuric acid for maintaining fertiliser production and all these materials are shipped through the port. The annual imports of raw materials through the port were about 6 lakh tonnes and moved to production divisions located in Udyogamandal and Ambalamedu through inland waterways and road. Of this, solid cargoes such as sulphur and rock phosphate and different acids are imported through Q10 berth.

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Published on February 11, 2021
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