Kochi, Apr 5 (PTI) Cochin Port Trust has made a turn-around in the financial front by making a net surplus of about Rs four crore overcoming the loss registered continuously during last 10 years.

“I am happy to inform you that the Cochin Port Trust this year has made a turn around in financial front making net profit,” The Port Trust Chairman P Raveendran told reporters here today.

He expressed hope that this achievement could be carry forward in the coming years too.

“Our one area of concentration will be to increase overall traffic through the port and the other area is to increase lease of land and building so that the revenue growth is ensured,” he said.

The port has achieved an all-time high cargo throughput of 29.14 million metric tonnes for the year 2017-18 recording an impressive growth of 16.51 per cent over 2016-17.

The cargo growth rate is the highest amongst all the Major Ports of India. Container traffic grew by 13 per cent during the same period, he said.

He said during 2017-18 the Port handled a Total traffic of 29.14 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) as against 25.01 MMT during 2016-17 registering a growth of 16.51 per cent.

The total number of Containers handled during 2017-18 is 5.55 lakhs TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and during 2016-17 is 4.91 lakhs TEUs registering a growth of 13 per cent, he said.

Raveendran said total POL (Petrol, Oil & Lubricants) handling improved from 15.79 MMT during 2016-17 to 18.66 MMT during 2017-18 registering a growth rate of 18.17 per cent.

He said 42 cruise vessels called at the Port during 2017-18.

Cochin Port handled Coastal Steel Cargo of Rastriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. (RINL), Vishakapatnam by Coastal Shipping with effect from October 2017.

The Port could also attract river sand & Illmenite sand vessels during the current year and handled 1.33 lakhs and 0.37 lakhs respectively during 2017-2018.

Introduction of Incentive/Penalty Scheme under Berthing Policy of the Central government has helped to achieve higher productivity in handling POL and Cement.

The Port Trust also proposed to provide International Cruise Terminal facilities inside Ernakulam Wharf area to cater to the cruise passengers with the functional and service requirements as per the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by Ministry of Tourism.

The project consists of Construction of an International Cruise Terminal building of approximate area 2253 m2 with connected facilities.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.