India’s Cochin Port Authority has completed a dredging project to allow the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal to handle deep-draft ships.
The port authority in a trade advisory said the Vallarpadam terminal is now in a position to receive vessels with drafts up to 14.5 meters (about 48 feet) following additional channel dredging. The terminal project is a public-private partnership between DP World and Cochin Port Trust. Commercial operations began in February 2011.
“Turnaround of vessels of more than 275 meters (902 feet) and drawing maximum draft of 14.5 meters will be subject to tide and weather conditions,” the authority said.
The concession agreement between the Dubai-based company and CPT mandated that the landlord port provide a 14.5-meter draft at the terminal to accommodate bigger ships.
DP World Cochin in a notice on Wednesday urged shipping lines to use the terminal, “now that draft and cabotage issues have been sorted out.” The Indian government in September last year approved a three-year cabotage law waiver to permit foreign-flag ships to move containers to and from the terminal, enabling the private operator to compete with other hub ports in the region, such as Colombo, Singapore, Salalah and Jebel Ali.
The $600-million terminal is the first stage in DP World’s three-phase development at Cochin Port, offering an annual throughput capacity of 1 million 20-foot-equivalent units in the initial phase and 4 million TEUs when fully developed.