Kochi port is emerging as a major cement import hub with Malabar Cements expressing interest in setting up a million-tonnes-a-year facility and Zuari Cements finalising a 30-year deal with the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) this week.

CPT sources said that while Malabar Cements looking to set up import facilities, major players in the market such as Ambuja and UltraTech Cements had already initiated activities.

The port trust recorded a cement throughput of 3.5 lakh tonnes the previous financial year.

Zuari Cements had leased 2.4 hectares through a tender-cum-bidding process, in which two other players were in the reckoning. Kochi port had received Rs.50 crore as upfront payment for the facility that would be operational in about two years, sources added. It was learnt that Zuari proposed to handle between three and six lakh tonnes of cement a year in a staggered manner and intended to export cement to countries such as Male and Sri Lanka.

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