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New Delhi : The arrival of first vessel ‘Penna Suraksha’ 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 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 Sagarmala Programme 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 and will help rebuild Kerala after recent floods in a cost effective manner with lower logistic costs.

At present, 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 at 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, according to a PIB release.

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 Government of Kerala Company, has also been allotted land at Cochin Port for setting up a bagging terminal.

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