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Chairman's Message Archive

                                                                     

Friends,

 

2013 was a year of many achievements, with the Port being able to achieve most of the things that it set out to do.

  With regard to the International Container Transhipment Terminal, the Port declared 14.5 m. draft at the ICTT on 22nd April 2013. We are sure that traffic will pick up at the ICTT in 2014.

Two CFSs are already functional outside the ICTT and work on the other CFS is on.  

The Port’s CFS was registered as a separate Customs entity and is undertaking an upgradation of its infrastructure with funding from the Commerce Ministry under ASIDE.  The en bloc movement of containers enforced by the Customs from 1st November, 2013 and the transfer of unaccompanied baggage handling to the Port’s CFS are improving its volumes and viability.  The takeover of stevedoring of unaccompanied baggage by the Port is being done to reduce handling charges for NRIs.

Cochin Customs has commissioned the Gate Module at the ICTT and transferred the Container Cell and Export Processing Office to the terminal so that all Customs clearances are now available at Vallarpadam itself.  The State’s Commercial Taxes Department has also opened a Facilitation Centre near the terminal so that north bound containers do not have to come to Willingdon Island.  The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has opened an office in Cochin Port for facilitating clearances. 

The Port expects to award the project for the development of the 102 acre Free Trade Warehousing Zone on Willingdon Island in 2014. One more CFS on Vallarpadam will also be awarded this year. These developments should give logistics a big boost in Cochin.

The Ship Repair Facility of the Cochin Shipyard Ltd. operating in the Port area is functional now and is taking up onboard repairs of vessels in the Port. 

Designs for the 4.1 MMTPA Multi User Liquid Terminal (MULT) awarded to Indian Oil Corporation Ltd are nearing finalization.  The Rs.170 crore berthing structure will berth vessels with 230 m LOA, 13 m draft and 80,000 DWT. This jetty will service IOC's LPG storage facility in Puthuvypeen, and in the process, reduce road transport of LPG through Kerala.  This is expected to be commissioned by December, 2015. 

The MULT will also serve as a Bunkering Terminal for 204 days in a year. The Port will offer 104 acres of backup area in the Puthuvypeen SEZ to tank farms, where operators may import duty-free bunkers and stock for bunkering after the construction contract for the jetty is finalized.

Cochin Port has been promoting bunkering aggressively by streamlining procedures, getting the State Government to reduce VAT and providing infrastructure facilities.  Predictably enough, bunkering volumes at Cochin Port crossed 10,000 MT in a month for the first time in December, 2013.  

Petronet LNG Ltd. has commissioned their 5 MMTPA capacity LNG Terminal at Cochin and the first ship “M.V.Wilenergy” berthed at the new terminal on 20th August, 2013.

Two PPP projects, a 14.5 m. draft, 4 MMTPA modern coal terminal on Q8 Q9 berth on Ernakulam Wharf and reconstruction of a 400 m. General Cargo berth on Mattancherry Wharf, are under tendering.

Installation of firefighting equipment was completed and the liquid cargo terminal on Q4 berth on Mattancherry Wharf received its first vessel on 26th October, 2013.  With this, the tank farms on Willingdon Island can receive parcel sizes of up to 35,000 tonnes in vessels with LOA of up to 180 m. and 9.14 m. draft.

Cochin Port has added a new foam fire tender to its fleet of fire engines. This tender can carry 6,000 tonnes of foam.

The Port successfully replaced the Unloading Arms at Cochin Oil Teminal in a time-bound manner at a cost of about Rs.17 crores and serviced the first vessel there on 18th December, 2013. 

Cochin Port has concluded the contract with Zuari Cements Ltd for a cement bagging facility; this will be the third such facility apart from Ambuja Cements’ and Ultratech's.

Cochin Port facilitated the import of seven huge pressure vessels for the expansion project of the Kochi Refineries on 16th December 2013. Their expansion project scheduled for completion in December 2015 will increase the annual POL traffic of the Port by 8 million tonnes.

Cochin Port mechanized the handling of imported timber logs from the ships with effect from 8th December 2013, with about two-fold improvement in productivity compared to the manual operations earlier. The mechanized grabs eliminates the requirement of labourers getting into the hatch holds of the timber log ships, which ensures safer operations.

Commercial Explosives in containerized format was exported from the country for the first time from Cochin Port on 16th September 2013.

The Port’s 1,500 sq.m Cruise Facilitation Centre, Samudrika, has played a key role in the turnaround of 3 Aida Cruises so far.  During the non-cruise season, several events like the NAMEXPO were held in the facility.  Construction work on the extension of the cruise berth to service bigger cruise vessels at the Samudrika is expected to be completed by August, 2014 in time for the next cruise season. 

A project with the potential to change the fortunes of the Cochin Port comprehensively is the Cochin Outer Harbour Project.  The Port has completed the feasibility studies and has called an EoI for development of the northern breakwater and reclaiming the adjoining 2,600 acres of land for locating an export-oriented oil refinery or a liquid trading hub.  The Indian Navy has expressed interest in co-partnering the project and taking up the southern breakwater and developments thereon.  The breakwaters will reduce the siltation load in Cochin Port channels by 40% and reduce the worryingly high maintenance dredging expenditure of the Port.  

As anticipated, the year 2013 continued to be one of financial stress, but the employees of the Port showed exemplary courage and fortitude in adopting a stringent austerity regime.

We are sure that we will strive together to help the Port achieve its place in the sun.

 

Paul Antony                                                                                         
Chairman                                                       
                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                     (31st December, 2013)