20-09-2017

India: Cochin Port Trust expects Rs. 37-crore profit this year

Braving rough weather for two consecutive financial years, the Cochin Port Trust is all set to come out of the red this fiscal, with an expected net profit of Rs. 37 crore. The loss last fiscal was Rs. 27.17 crore.

Deputy Chairman AV Ramana attributed the turnaround to increased crude throughput by BPCL-Kochi Refinery and higher container traffic at the International Container Transhipment Terminal operated by DP World. The port is also expecting that the increased capacity utilisation at the LNG terminal is likely to bring more revenues this fiscal.

Cargo handling

The port posted 20 per cent growth in cargo handling during the period between April and August, the highest among all the major ports, Ramana told BusinessLine .

He pointed out that the crude traffic witnessed a 28 per cent growth, thanks to Integrated Refinery Expansion Project of BPCL that helped the port to handle 15 MMTPA. The full potential of the project will be realised from FY19 onwards, with the POL traffic touching 17 MMTPA.

Likewise, the container traffic registered 13 per cent growth at five lakh TEUS and it is set to touch 5.5 lakh TEUS by the end of the current fiscal, he said, adding that ICTT in August hosted more than 1,000 mainline vessels since its inception in 2011, connecting Kochi with international ports.

Asked whether GST implementation impacted cargo traffic, Ramana said it has helped increase throughput by resolving the long-standing issues at Walayar Check Post permanently, as the new tax regime promotes free inter-state movement.

According to Goutam Gupta, Traffic Manager, LNG imports are expected to increase to 2.5 MMTPA on FY19 from the present 2 MMTPA with the GAIL pipeline getting connected to Mangaluru by this year-end.

Cruise vessels

Kochi is the major cruise vessel call port in India after Mumbai with the port registering 46 cruise vessel calls in FY16 against 33 in FY15. The growth was helped by the home-porting of Costa Neoclassica of the Coasta Cruises, Italy at Mumbai, which operated the cruise circuit between Mumbai and Male with calls at Kochi on the way to Male or on the return trip.

The new cruise terminal built at a cost of Rs. 25 crore is getting ready by next year which will be able to service large cruise ships of 2000 passengers with all regulatory formalities under one roof, Gupta added.

Source: The Hindu Business Line 

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