K. Venkiteswaran

First phase is expected to be completed by 2009

  • DP World to invest $200 million during first phase
  • Land development work to begin shortly

    Kochi: The first phase of the Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal is likely to be completed by 2009 if the present plans go on as envisaged. The terminal will have a capacity to handle one million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) during the first phase, for which the Dubai-based operator is to invest roughly $200 million.

    According to official sources here, DP World, the container terminal operator of the Cochin Port Trust, has already submitted to the port authorities for approval the plan and drawings for the proposed international container transhipment terminal. The construction of the first phase of the terminal will be subject to the approval of the plan by the port authorities. Senior port officials said the land development work is expected to begin shortly after the examination of the plan and drawings by an expert committee comprising engineers and technicians of the port. There may not be any changes in the plan as the DP World officials were in constant touch with the port during the preparation of the drawing.

    Royal Haskoning, the Netherlands-based design and supervision consultants, has prepared the drawing of the terminal for DP World. The drawings include the design of the container terminal, wharves and container handling yards.

    Connectivity

    The port officials said the work on rail connectivity from Edappally and road connectivity from Kalamassery to the project site would begin in a month. All related works are in full swing and the first phase of the project is expected to be commissioned in April 2009. DP World will invest around $200 million in the first phase of the project, which has a capacity to handle one million TEUs.

    Shipping circles said the commissioning of the Vallarpadam project would alleviate the congestion here and importantly open up the market by ensuring that shipping lines have a choice through the common user facilities of the company.

    The project is destined to become a premier gateway to southern India whilst offering an alternative to Sri Lanka and Singapore for container transhipment.

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