K.A. Martin

“Bhoomi puja”

for container

transhipment terminal

Mooring facility for BPCL-Kochi Refinery will go into trial run

KOCHI: History will be made on Monday as two big projects, expected to herald an era of economic growth for Kochi and other parts of Kerala, reach the critical stage here on Monday.

“Bhoomi puja” for one of the State’s longest-awaited projects, an international container transhipment terminal, will be held on Vallarpadam Island at 10 a.m.

A single-point mooring facility set up for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd-Kochi Refinery will go into trial run when the first very-large crude carrier arrives in the afternoon.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who laid the foundations for the Vallarpadam project in February 2005, hailed it as a model for public-private partnership.


The project involves an investment of more than Rs.2,000 crore and will be built by India Gateway Terminals Ltd. (IGTL), part of Dubai Ports World (DP World), on a build-operate-transfer basis. The project is expected to be completed in 2009. Work on railway and road links to the project site is under way.

With the completion of the project, Kochi will join ports at Colombo, Salalah and Singapore which now handle the bulk of Indian transhipment business.

Indian exporters can look forward to substantial savings in transhipment cost with its completion.

The single-point mooring facility, which cost approximately Rs.750 crore, is situated 19.2 km off the Puthuvype coast, where large carriers will anchor for crude to be pumped into onshore tanks through a submarine pipeline.

As much as 2,55,000 kilolitres of crude can be stored in three tanks onshore. From these, the crude will be pumped to the refinery through a 10-km onshore pipeline.

The facility will considerably cut cost of crude transport for the refinery, which receives regular import consignments and supplies from Bombay High.

It is estimated that the project would save the refinery up to Rs.165 crore a year in transport costs.

Its commissioning is linked to the capacity expansion of the refinery from the current 7.5-million tonnes to 9.5-million tonnes a year.