Kochi port to expand container freight station

Kochi | Updated on February 17, 2011 Published on February 17, 2011

Mr N. Ramachandran

Mr N. Ramachandran, Chairman of Cochin Port Trust, who stewarded the commissioning of the Vallarpadam container transhipment terminal, stepped down on Wednesday after completing the five-year tenure.

In his stint at the helm of the port, Mr Ramchandran, an IPS officer from the Assam cadre, was instrumental in putting an end to the unhealthy practice of unscrupulous elements collecting money from maritime entities dealing with the port. He also played a key role in ensuring smooth and successful conduct of the popular Volvo Ocean Race held in December 2008.

Sharing his experience with Business Line, he said the port was to commission the Vallarpadam project ahead of schedule overcoming obstacles. There has been absolutely no delay in the project.

According to the concession agreement, the port has time till 2013. Implementing the project was like conducting a huge orchestra, and every member of the port played his/her part brilliantly, he said.

The other prestigious mega-project is the LNG project, coming up soon in Puthuvypeen special economic zone. Construction is likely to be completed by December 2011, and by the time the project is commissioned, the port trust will start earning from this project as well.

The e-port project is the first of its kind among all major ports in the country, and this unique enterprise has given the port an unprecedented edge over others, he said.

He is confident that the financial crisis the port is facing would be overcome in two years, by when LNG and other related projects will become operational.

The two port-based special economic zones, the multi-user liquid terminal, the bunkering terminal and the Indian Oil Corporation-sponsored LPG terminal are some of the other ambitious projects which are in stages of completion.

Several downstream projects are slated to come in Puthuvypeen, like a mega-power project of 1,200 MW.

The port intends to expand its container freight station to generate more revenue. After India Gateway Terminal Pvt Ltd vacates Q7, Q8 and Q9 berths, the port would be able to handle larger bulk vessels with deeper draft at these berths.

Availability of railway sidings in these berths is an added advantage which will attract bulk handling vessels, he added.

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Published on February 17, 2011
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