Potential investors in a new dry bulk terminal at the Indian port of Kochi have been frightened off by regulator-determined tariffs, which are said to be uneconomical. The proposed new terminal, which would have handled coal and fertilizer, would have made use of existing berths at Ernakulam quay, where activities had been reduced following a shift of container handling to Vallarpadam.

Although five potential bidders had shown an interest, they determined that the rates, which are fixed by TAMP, were simply too low. Rather than adjust the rates, the Port Trust is now seeking to deepen the draught at these berths to 14.5m in order to attract larger vessels and therefore make the proposed rates more attractive.

Dredging work is already ongoing at the port and could easily be extended to encompass Ernakulam.