Kerala envisions a future rooted in the port-led development and strives to become a gateway to economic prosperity by harnessing its coastal assets, according to Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW)

Highlighting the significance of Kochi in a virtual address, the Minister said Kerala’s all-weather seaport hosts significant liquid bulk and container terminals, thriving within its port-based Special Economic Zones. Kerala is also home to the world-renowned Cochin Shipyard Ltd., serving as India’s primary shipbuilding and repair hub.

Kochi’s maritime potential is boundless, exemplified by its remarkable 21.8 per cent growth in the liner connectivity index in the second quarter of 2023, he said while addressing a road-show organised as a precursor to the 3rd Global Maritime India Summit 2023.

He said the shipbuilding and repair industry, driven by Cochin Shipyard Ltd, is also revolutionising the shipping ecosystem with cutting-edge technology vessels, including hybrid electric ferries for the Kochi Water Metro, Battery Electric Autonomous-Zero Emission Vessels, and Hydrogen fuel ferries, all aligned with the country’s sustainability goals.

M. Beena, Chairperson, Cochin Port Authority, said Kerala is emerging as a leader in maritime infrastructure, with Cochin Port being one of the 12 major ports, contributing over 35 million tonnes per annum to national maritime traffic. “We have focused our efforts on revolutionizing logistics through transformative initiatives like Vizhinjam Port, India’s first mega transhipment container terminal, and Cochin Port’s LNG bunkering facilities, which showcase our commitment to a resilient future, driving economic growth and preserving our transport heritage”, she said.

Vikas Narwal, deputy chairperson, Cochin Port Authority, said “With 28 shipbuilding yards in the country, with Kerala boasting the largest, 14 million GRT ship carrying capacity and over 2.5 lakh seafarers navigating worldwide, the Indian maritime community is robust where Kerala stands as a pillar of strength. India is trading with more than 100 nations across the world today and 1.3 per cent of our merchandise trade goes through Cochin Port.”

Highlighting the maritime sector’s progress in India, he said “Our two ports, JNP and Mundra, rank among the top 40 global ports and India is among the top five in trained manpower as by 2021 data. We are ranked 2nd in global ship recycling and 38th in logistics performance index as per the recently released data in 2023.”

Madhu S. Nair, Chairman & Managing Director Cochin Shipyard Ltd said “Following our successful participation in the Global Maritime India Summit 2021, Kerala’s transformative journey, powered by government collaboration, industry innovation, and unwavering maritime community support, underscores our commitment to progress. With technology adoption, infrastructure enhancements, and sustainability at our core, we’ve become a leading maritime player.”