Logistics

To reduce cost, Kochi port plans long-term contract for dredging

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on September 26, 2012

The long-term contract is expected to make the work more attractive to dredging companies.

Aimed at reducing the spiralling cost in maintenance dredging, Kochi port plans to go in for long-term contract for dredging.

The management has invited expressions of interest from companies and their consortiums or joint ventures for taking up dredging operations for a period of 12 years.

The long-term contract is expected to make the work more attractive to dredging companies, port officials said.

Earlier, the port management used to award maintenance dredging contracts on an annual basis, and the present contract which is for three years, is being carried out by the Dredging Corporation of India. The award period is 2011-12 and 2013-14.

The huge dredging cost has badly affected the financial health of the port, which prompted the management to introduce certain austerity measures. The annual expense on maintenance dredging at present is around Rs 110 crore, with the commissioning of the Vallarpadam Terminal. However, the rates earlier were in the range of Rs 35-40 crore a few years back.

Dredging operations

The dredging operations at present include work for maintaining the depth of the basins and channel for the ICTT at Vallarpadam. The depth requirement in the ICTT berth basins is 14.5 metres. To meet the rising expenses in dredging, the port management had even sought a one-time assistance of around Rs 400 crore from the Union Shipping Ministry. However, the proposal has not been considered so far.

According to port officials, a quantity of 18 million cubic metres has to be dredged out of the inner channel per year. The dredged material, comprising sand, silt and clay, is usually dumped in the designated areas in the outer channel, 20 km away from the port.

It may be recalled that the port had entrusted the consultancy organisation KITCO Ltd to carry out a study for better utilisation of the dredged material, and to explore the possibility of resorting to need-based dredging. It was revealed in the study that sand sedimentation in the channels can be used as construction materials or for the creation of embankment.

It was also pointed out that the materials can be used as raw material for manufacturing bricks and tiles.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 26, 2012
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