Cochin Port Trust has approached KITCO to undertake a study for utilisation of dredged sand. Cochin Port Trust has been exploring methods of reducing the net expenditure on maintenance dredging. One of the suggestions in this regard was utilization of the material from the dredging.
Approximately 21 million cubic metres of dredged material is currently being dumped by the Port in the designated dumping zone in the sea, 20 KMs from the shoreline.
Earlier, efforts were made to use the material for landfills or as bio-fertilizers. But efforts have not yielded any positive result so far because of the presence of heavy metals on the one side, and the problems of taking the material from the trailing suction hopper dredgers that the Port deploys.
The Port has now decided to concentrate on the area around Puthu Vypeen, where sand is available. It is estimated that around 4 million cubic metres of sand is being dredged from an area of about 5 kms in the shipping channel and dumped in the outer sea every year.
The Port now proposes to use this sand for construction purposes after segregating and subjecting it to washing. This will be done on a PPP basis.
Around 24 acres of land is available to the west of the LNG terminal in Puthuvypeen. When the LNG terminal runs at 5 MMTPA, it will produce 2.4 MLD of de-mineralized water. This could be procured for washing operations on mutually acceptable terms from the Petronet LNG Ltd.
The Port proposes to call a tender-cum-auction for a sand mining operation to be located on this land; the period of the concession will be for 30 years. The Port will undertake the dredging and deliver the sand to this area by means of pipelines. The possibility of using the remaining dredged spoils will also be explored by the Port.