Cochin Port Trust (CPT) and BPCL Kochi Refinery may hold a meeting to iron out issues regarding sharing of cost for carrying out dredging at the Cochin Oil Terminal (COT).
It is learnt that the union government decided to convene a meeting between both the organisation to settle the difference.
According to CPT, they spend about Rs 33 crore annually for dredging the area. The charges that the port realizes from the refinery for dredging is not even one-third the port’s total revenue from COT even though the refinery accounts for 78 percent of the cargo handled at the terminal.
CPT wants the refinery to bear a higher share of the dredging cost than what they pay currently as they are the main users of the terminal. This was critical to tide over the acute financial crisis faced by the port.
CPT increased the draft from 9.14 metre to 12.5 metre by dredging when the Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal (RGCT) started functioning opposite COT. This deeper draft enabled BPCL to bring in larger vessels (of up to 330 metre) and reduce freight cost.
Dredging became costlier for the port after RGCT was shifted to the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT), Vallarpadam, which became operational over two years ago.
Port officials argue that the original understanding was that at least 4 million tonne of cargo would be handled at the terminal annually, but this has come down to two million tonne.