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Kochi terminal handed over to Dubai Ports International

By Our Staff Reporter

— Photo: H. Vibhu



A HISTORIC MOMENT: The Chairman of the Cochin Port Trust, Jacob Thomas, addresses the gathering of employees at the formal handing over of the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal to Dubai Ports International on Friday. Ganesh Raj, a DPI official is on the left. — Photo: H. Vibhu

KOCHI, APRIL 1. India Gateway Terminal Private Limited (IGTPL), part of Dubai Ports International (DPI), formally took over the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal (RGCT) from the Cochin Port Trust (CoPT) on Friday, marking the first phase of the operations of DPI, which has won a 30-year BOT contract for building India's first international container transshipment hub on Vallarpadam Island.

The foundation for the Rs. 2,118-crore Vallarpadam project, India's first greenfield box terminal venture, was laid by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, on February 16. DPI will build the new transshipment terminal in four years and shift its operations from RGCT.

The brief ceremony at Q8 berth of the RGCT on Friday evening against the backdrop of the setting sun and the Vembanad lake was witnessed by a large number of Port Trust employees. The Port Trust Chairman, Jacob Thomas, presided. He called it a "historic occasion" while H. C. Venkatesh, Traffic Manager, and K. C. Thomas, Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Port Trust, handed over inventory documents of RGCT to Myron A. Johnson, Terminal Manager of IGTPL.

Ganesh Raj, Manager, Dubai Port International, who flew in from Dubai, said that DPI would invest about Rs. 50 crore over 18 months in new equipment, repairs and training.

Four new rubber-tyred gantry cranes are expected in the third week of April. They will be operational by June. Two more cranes with post-Panamax reach will be in Kochi in the fourth week of April, he said.

In addition, workshop equipment worth about five lakh US dollars will be brought in to equip the RGCT, he said.

Trade union leaders expressed their support to the programme to build India's best-equipped container terminal. The International Container Transshipment Terminal is part of a Rs. 7,500-crore integrated development plan drawn up by the Port Trust that includes a port-based special economic zone, a Rs 1,600-crore LNG regassification terminal; the Rs 1,510-crore special economic zone; Rs 315-crore ship repair facility; Rs 720-crore single-buoy mooring facility for crude transfer and Rs 55-crore world-class cruise terminal.

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