The Cochin Port is reaching out to companies by offering cargo handling facilities in the port area, with an aim of improving the financials as well as cargo throughput.
AV Ramana, Deputy Chairman of the port, said, Jindal Steel located at Alibagh has approached the management for using the port area to handle its finished product steel coils.
The company intends to utilise the cost-effective Coastal Shipping route to move these high volume cargo from Maharashtra to cater to the south Indian markets.
He said that “Discussions in this regard are in final stages and we are encouraging them to use Cochin as the hub to cater to the industries in Tamil Nadu.”
Likewise, talks are on with leading cement companies with a throughput guarantee to set up units in Willingdon Island for semi-captive use as well as with private sector petroleum companies for POL products handling.
He added that “A favourable decision will be reached shortly and this will enable the port to ensure more cargo and revenue in the coming years.”
According to Ramana, the port management is pinning its hopes on the capacity expansion of BPCL-Kochi Refinery from 9.5 million tonnes to 15.5 million tonnes as part of its Integrated Refinery Expansion Project.
This is expected to fetch an additional INR 120-130 crore for the port. Besides, the enhanced capacity utilisation by Petronet LNG Limited at Puthuvypeen LNG terminal and the increase in the container throughput of 50,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent (TEU) per month at the Vallarpadam terminal will result in an additional revenue around INR 150 crore.
The coastal car carrier service, which started calling from September last year, will also be a money spinner for the port from this year, he said.
On future projects, he said a consultant has been appointed for preparing the feasibility report towards developing a smart industrial port city at Willingdon Island at an investment of INR 10 crore.
This would enhance cargo consolidation and traffic. The port has also taken steps to improve cruise berthing facilities at an estimated cost of INR 25 crore.