New Delhi: The arrival of first vessel ‘PennaSuraksha’ carrying 25,000 tonnes of cement from Krishnapatnam marks the beginning of operations of the 4th cement terminal at Cochin Port. This modal shift in the transport of cement from road/rail to sea is another step towards promoting coastal shipping as cost-effective & environment-friendly means of transportation as envisaged under the SagarmalaProgramme of Ministry of Shipping. Cement being a high-volume, low-value product, lower-cost sea transport is very important as a game changer in logistics.
With huge destruction that has occurred in the recent floods, the requirement of cement in re-building the state of Kerala is expected to increase. Coastal shipping of building material like cement is economic & will help rebuild Kerala after recent floods in a cost-effective manner with lower logistics costs.
Presently, three Cement Terminals- Ambuja, UltraTech and Zuari are in operation and handle 7,83,000 tonnes of cement annually. The Bagging Terminal of Penna Cement Ltd. is the fourth such terminal in Cochin Port. The terminal has been set up in 1.14 ha of land leased by Cochin Port Trust and is expected to handle 3 lakh tonnes of cement annually.
The Terminal has been designed to connect to Q6 berth at Ernakulam Wharf, where ships carrying cement from Krishnapatnam Plant will be berthed for transfer of the cargo to the silos through pneumatic suction. The Terminal has four silos of the total capacity of 20,000 MT and has the designed capacity of 0.50 MMTPA in cement bagging. The Cochin Packing Terminal has an annual throughput of 0.30 MMT, to begin with.
Cochin Port has facilitated the installation of automated cement bagging units by allotting land adjacent to berths to cement companies. Cement is brought in bulk through ships and is transferred to silos on the adjacent land through pipelines.
The Port is expected to handle 1.5 million metric tonnes of cement by 2020. Malabar Cements, a Govt. of Kerala Co. has also been allotted land at Cochin Port for setting up a bagging terminal.