State-owned Malabar Cements is to install an automated cement handling and bagging unit along with a raw material import facility at the Indian port of Cochin. The company expects to handle a minimum of 300,000 tonnes of cement, although facilities could be expanded to accommodate twice that traffic, and this does not include associated products such as clinker, limestone and coal.

Inbound ships will use the Q-7 berth, which can handle vessels of up to 35,000 tonnes, given draught of 10.4m. Its new processing area will cover 7 acres near Ernakulam Wharf. Nevertheless, the port trust has insisted that a zero pollution system be installed for handling clinker because of potential air and environmental pollution.

Barry Cross