Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Cochin Port Trust has extended the date for submission of expression of interest (EoI) for the proposed mega ship repair complex here till January 31. The trust called for EOIs on September 16, 2005.

It is learnt that the invitation has evoked a good response. The complex, to be commissioned in 2010, is estimated to cost Rs. 315 crores. The facility is aimed at exploiting Kochi's strategic location on the international maritime route. The Indian Ports Association prepared a feasibility report for the project in 2005.

The trust authorities have decided to set up a free trade warehousing zone as part of the country's first port-based Special Economic Zone coming up in Vallarpadam and Puthuvype areas.

More than 4,00 hectares of land have been earmarked for the proposed economic zone, for which the Centre has earmarked Rs. 98 crores in the 10th Plan.

The warehousing zone is being envisaged as a public-private partnership project, and the port is now preparing a feasibility report for it. The project is part of an effort to have manufacturing units in the economic zone and provide more employment opportunities.