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Cochin Port waives bunkering service charges for three more years

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KOCHI : Cochin Port Authority has extended the “waiver of port charges for a further period of three years” for ships calling at outer anchorage of the port for bunkering services.

The maritime services carried out at the outer anchorage of the port include crew change, supply of fuel and drinking water, ship stores, ship repairs etc.

Officials in the shipping fraternity said the positive stand taken by the port management was part of the joint initiative taken up by Kerala Steamer Agents Association and public sector oil companies operating in and around Kochi.

Describing the decision as a pro-active trade initiative, Binu K.S, President of the Steamer Agents Association said waiver of port charges would have a long term benefit to vessel owners and operators who are looking for a better place to procure quality ship supplies. This would help vessel owners/charterers and operators to do advance planning of their vessel calls to Kochi, he said.

With this, Kochi would soon emerge as the most preferred location for quality fuels, ship repair, crew change, engine and deck stores, provisions and freshwater intake, he said.

“We are already getting an average of 1.5 vessels per day for availing outer anchorage facilities. By this extension of waiver, we expect more vessels to come at the outer anchorage. This would help Kochi to convert itself into a maritime hub for ship supplies. Vessels coming to the outer channel can avail many services in a single call”, he said.

Likewise, ships passing through the international sea route can also plan and avail these facilities at outer anchorage itself. It may be recalled that Cochin Port has achieved many new milestones in liquid cargo handling and container handling during the last financial year.

Industry sources said the port is aggressively positioning itself as a centre for ship services and bunkering is a major part. Barges are an essential part for the supply of bunkers to ships. Without barges there cannot be bunker supplies. To attract more barges to Cochin Port, the management has been extending waivers to bunker barges from Pilotage and berth hire. These efforts by the port have seen a three-fold increase in the bunker supplies.

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