Kochi: Indian Government would be pumping over Rs. 380 crores to deepen the draft depth at the port to 16 metres as Cochin Port is possibly to be seen as a trans-shipment hub plus an alternative to Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port.
Further investments are also being planned to raise the capacity to 2 million TEUs, said the minister of ports.
As per him, 50% of the draft deepening cost would be covered under Sagarmala Programme while Cochin Port is supposed to bear the remaining 50%.
Operated by DP World, the International Container Trans-Shipment Terminal (also called ICTT) at Cochin has a 14.5-meter draft with the terminal’s cargo handling capacity being 1 million TEUs. The terminal is currently capable of handling post-Panamax ships.
“Cochin is being considered as a trans-shipment hub to provide the much-needed direct connectivity to foreign ports from South India which will reduce the lead time for our EXIM (export-import) trade by an average of 5-7 days.”, he said.
In FY22, Cochin Port’s ICTT at Vallarpadam handled container traffic of 1.56 lakh TEUs, an 80% growth YoY.
Last fiscal, the port handled a cargo volume of 34.55 MT, registering a growth of 10%.
Sonowal explained that the average turnaround time for container vessels has reduced to 26.58 hours from 43.44 hours.
Improving turnaround time
According to Sonowal, the average turnaround time for container vessels at major ports of the country has improved to 26.58 hrs, from the previous 43.44 hrs. This change has been possible due to some of the continued efforts in terms of mechanisation & modernisation of berths, dredging to accommodate larger vessels, better maintenance of vessels & the ports, etc.