KOCHI: With no companies showing interest, the Cochin Port Trust has shelved the plan to set up an eco- friendly coal handling terminal by combining the existing north and south coal berths at the Mattancherry wharf.
Last year, the port authorities had invited tender for the project which was proposed to cater to the steel and cement industries in Kerala and neighbouring states.
“No company has expressed interest in the project. This is the only project the Cochin Port Trust has shelved in recent times,” said Cochin Port Trust chairman Paul Antony.
The plan was to set up a facility to handle coal in a covered area. Port Trust also had plans to set up the terminal with private participation on the lines of cement terminals which are already functioning on the port premises.
The proposed terminal was envisaged with a capacity of five million tonnes of coal a year and fully-automated terminal of 17-hectare stack yard.
Four cement terminals, operated by leading cement companies, are already functioning on the port premises. At such terminals, cement is being pumped from the ship to the plant where it will be packed in bags and delivered to the markets in Kerala and neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The Cochin Port handles around 1,000 tonnes of coal a year. The port management had mooted the project on the basis of an earlier proposal that the coal handling facilities at the port may be augmented because it is a major port on the African route.