Kochi port to float global bids for ship repair yard

N.K.Kurup Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Having failed to rope in its neighbouring public sector shipyard, the Cochin Port Trust has decided to go in for a global tender to choose a partner for its proposed ship repair yard.

The project is part of a master plan being prepared by the port to redevelop its water front and other facilities, which became virtually idle following the commissioning of the Vallarpadam Container terminal.

The port trust will provide 850 m of water front at Mattancheri channel and 45 acres of adjoining land for the project.

This is in addition to the existing workshop and other facilities.

Absorbing employees

One of the conditions is that the bidder should absorb around 300 employees of the port's existing ship repair workshop.

Cochin Shipyard Ltd, which is looking for opportunity to expand its ship repair facility, had initially evinced interest in the project.

However, it backed out when insisted that it should retain all the existing employees.

CSL backing out

It is learnt that CSL, said to be the ideal party to take up the facility, was prepared to absorb only a small number of employees and that was not acceptable to the unions.

Though, both the port and the shipyard are under the Union Shipping Ministry, efforts to persuade CSL to reconsider its decision did not succeed, said a port official.

Mr Paul Antony, Chairman, Cochin Port Trust, told Business Line that the Board has taken an in- principal decision to go in for a global tender.

He said details of the project will be finalised once the consultant submits the final report.

Growth potential

The repair yard will have tremendous potential as there is not enough dry docking facility in the country.

Proximity to Vallarpadam

Besides, it is close to the Vallarpadam international container terminal and ships calling at the port can also take advantage of the repair facility.

Ppp route

Since there is enough land available, the bidder can create a modern yard with ship-lift facility which will enable repair of a number of ships at the same time, said Mr Antony.

The project will be implemented on the public-private partnership model, but in the lines of DP World taking over the Rajiv Gandhi Terminal before setting up the Vallarpadam terminal.

Bulk cargo terminal

The port trust is also working out plans to covert the container berths at the Wellington Island (which become idle following the shifting of the container terminal to Vallapadam) into a bulk cargo terminal.

Published on August 19, 2011

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