Concession Agreement for LNG Terminal to be signed soon

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Kochi, Dec 4 (UNI) Cochin Port Trust (CPT) Chairman N Ramachandran said the 'Concession Agreement' for setting up of the Rs 2,100 crore LNG Terminal here will be signed in the immediate future.

Speaking to reporters here last night, Mr Ramachandran said the agreement to be signed between CPT and Petronet LNG is under the consideration of the Planning Commission and needs to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

He said Petronet LNG had already invested around Rs 8 crore for developing the land and the CPT was in constant touch with the company on the project.

He said single point mooring (SPM), which was put on a trial run yesterday, would drain the CPT profit by around Rs 40 crore.

Eventhough the SPM will eat into the profit of CPT, it was expected that cargo volume to the Port will increase in the years to come and the upcoming LNG Terminal would change the scenario for the good, he noted.

Mr Ramachandran said the Centre had approved the setting up of two special economic zones at Vallarpadam in 164 hectares and Puthuvypeen in 287 hectares.

On the labour problems at CPT, Mr Ramachandran said, ''we need to change our work culture as projects worth Rs 12,000 crore are coming up at the Port and there should be more transparency and efficiency in the work.'' Mr Suresh Joseph, General Manager of India Gateway Private Terminal Limited, the company entrusted with the setting up of the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal, said the first phase of the project would be completed in 24 months.

He said the offshore projects in the first phase would be handled by Simplex Infrastructure Limited and the onshore assignments by Mumbai-based Man Infra Construction Limited.

UNI

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