Tamil Nadu Electricity Board intake of coal has come down, reducing cargo throughput at Ennore port

Port of Kochi has emerged at the head of major ports in the country recording nearly 10 per cent increase in cargo throughput for the first three quarters of the current financial year.

Kochi's performance, aided by substantial increase in cement liquid bulk and container traffic, stands out against the average of a little more than one per cent for major ports in the country.

Figures provided by Indian Ports Association (IPA) show that Kochi, which logged a total cargo throughput of 1,32,42,000 tonnes between April and December 2010, is way ahead of other ports in the country, including Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), which saw 7.57 per cent increase in total cargo traffic. Managing Director of Indian Ports' Association A. Janardhana Rao told The Hindu on Thursday that the picture was not too bad for Indian ports for the first nine months though there had been slight slippages in some of the ports.

Kochi port had done well, he said as he pointed to the increased throughput in some of the cargo items through the port here.

Mr. Rao said that New Mangalore Port had shown a slippage in cargo throughput largely because of the ban on iron ore export from Karnataka. Similarly, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board intake of coal had come down, reducing cargo throughput at Ennore Port, where year-to-year variation was a negative 10 per cent. Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock Complex together recorded an increase in throughput of 2.42 per cent. Cargo throughput at Paradip Port showed a decline of 1.73 per cent; Vishakapatam showed a marginal increase; Chennai throughput declined marginally; Tuticorin showed an increase of nearly four per cent; New Mangalore a decline of nearly 13 per cent and Mormugao, Mumbai and Kandla showed marginal increases.

Cochin Port Trust sources said that liquid bulk movement through the port here increased nine per cent while container throughput jumped 11 per cent for the period under review. Crude throughput increased by more than eight lakh tonnes. Cement throughput increased by 1,21,501 tonnes during the first nine months of the financial year compared to the same period in the previous year. Cochin Port Trust has invited bids for consultants to prepare a feasibility report for developing an outer harbour.

The selected consultant will prepare a detailed report for the project, which will have multiple cargo-like containers, bulk, liquid, gas, etc.

The outer harbour will help the port service deep draft vessels, which cannot now be serviced with the available depth at the current jetties. Documents are being issued from Thursday and the last date for submission is February 7. Tenders will be opened on the same day.