Kochi port plans SEZ to push bunker business

Kochi: Leveraging its locational advantage on the international sea route, Kochi port is emerging as India’s top outlet for bunker sales, and the most competitive in the South Asian region.

Hoping to build further on these trends, the port is offering a 100-acre special economic zone (SEZ) in Puthuvypeen to accommodate the future growth potential of bunker service to ocean-going ships.

Senior officials in the port were quoted in The Hindu Businessline as saying that the bunker industry had been making strides in Kochi, with the annual growth rate exceeding 20%.

The industry is growing further in an eco-system of streamlined port operations, a supportive customs regime and favourable tax regime that permits floating storage, multiple shipment and rapid supplies at short notice round the clock.

The tax rates in vogue at Kochi are the lowest with VAT at 0.5% for ocean-going vessels and 5% for coastal vessels. Apart from that, customer feedback on the quality and pricing of bunkers sourced from Kochi from all major suppliers has been encouraging.

To spur the growth of India’s bunkering business, Kochi port is hosting the second edition of the international bunkering conference, Destination Cochin 2015, on May 15.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.
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