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03 December 2023

DPW's Cochin terminal opens

Picture for illustrative purpose. The container terminal will be operated as DP World Cochin (AFP)

By Wam

India's Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday inaugurated DP World's Vallarpadam terminal, the first dedicated transhipment and gateway hub in India. 

Dr Singh together with DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem laid the foundation stone for the Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) in February 2005.

The largest single operator container terminal in the country, ICTT, to be operated as DP World Cochin, was built at a cost (including other infrastructure facilities such as road and rail connections) of more than $600 million.

With the opening of the new facility, container handling will move entirely to DP World Cochin from the nearby Rajiv Gandhi Terminal over coming weeks, DP World said.

The older facility may be converted by Cochin Port Trust to handle greater volumes of non-containerised bulk cargo.

DP World Cochin will be completed in three phases. In the first phase, the 600-metre-long quay with a draught of around 14.5 metres will be able to simultaneously serve several of the world's largest container ships - those with a nominal capacity of around 10,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) - with capacity to handle one million TEUs annually.

Capacity will expand in line with market demand, increasing to around 1.5 million TEUs in the second phase. Once fully commissioned, capacity will be around four million TEUs.

The Government of India, in a true PPP approach, has also constructed and enhanced supporting infrastructure such as a four-lane national highway connecting the terminal to the rest of India.

A new eight kilometre long electrified rail link will also allow 15 trains to serve the terminal daily, connecting customers directly with India's national rail network.

"This world class facility will significantly reduce both time and costs for India's importers and exporters, improving their competitiveness and contributing to the further development of India's vibrant economy," Bin Sulayem said in the statement.

DP World chief executive Mohammad Sharaf added: "DP World Cochin offers customers world class, reliable, value added services with excellent road and rail connectivity for greater efficiency, helping them to get their goods faster to market at competitive prices. The terminal's services and state of the art facilities provide an outstanding option for shipping lines looking to tranship in the region." DP World also operates terminals in Mundra, Nhava Sheva, Chennai and Vishakapatnam, and is also developing a new terminal facility in West Bengal.