News on Ports

Minor ports in Gujarat pose threat to Kandla port, which finds it difficult to retain its numero uno status achieved in 1998-99. The minor ports have started to yield the result of the impetus given by the Gujarat Government over the past few years. The Pipavav and Positra ports have started increasing their throughputs and commissioning of the Reliance Petroleum project at Hazira is likely to find a further decline in business of petroleum products. Moreover the Vadinar Terminal of Essar along with other minor ports like Mundra and Bedi, have also made significant impacts of the downfall of the Kandla Port's traffic.

Capital structure of JNPT to be worked out for corporatisation of the port. The fixed asset of the port has been valued at Rs.22 billion. The union government would fix the capital structure of the Jawaharlal Nehru port. While the Department of Shipping has decided as a matter of policy to lease out the government-owned land to the corporatized major ports for about 50 years, the port has decided to get its land value assessed in view of a court-case involving the port for acquiring land from the farmers. The port has estimated the value of its fixed assets on the basis of an exercise carried out by Consulting Engineering Services (India) Limited. The work of segregating the assets, which will form part of the corporate entity, has been left to the government.

CPT resolved to appeal to the Center against delinking of Haldia dock from Calcutta Port. The Board of Trustees of Calcutta Port Trust has urged the Department of Shipping to repose full faith on it as far as the growth of the Haldia Dock is concerned. The board also agreed with the Gopalan Committee's recommendation that the Calcutta Dock System and the Haldia Dock Complex were integral parts of the one port.

In a separate development, 11 trade unions have decided to put off Haldia delink movement. The leaders of the unions have expressed that they might go for an industrial action including ceasing of works if the situations demand so.

Shell is likely to commence work on Rs. 23 billion port project at Hazira from January 2001. Of 17 people, who had picked up forms for the EPC contract, six have been short-listed and the final decision is expected next month. Shell earlier stated that they expected the LNG terminal to have a minimum permanent contractual capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per annum.

NALCO declines to tie up with Tata Steel for handling of containerized traffic at Paradip port. The National Aluminium Company, which presently routes its exports through Calcutta and Visakhapatnam ports, had been looking for a third port. Subsequently it carried out surveys in Chennai, Haldia and Paradip port and identified Paradip as the third port in preference to Haldia and Chennai.

Cochin Port's plan to set up oil terminal draws good response from seven firms including Aby Engineers and Consultants of Chennai, Shahi Shipping, Great Eastern Shipping Company, Jaisu Shipping of Kandla, Sach Exports of Kochi, Indian oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation. The terminal would be developed on a build, own and operate (BOT) basis at an estimated cost Rs.2 billion with a projected traffic volume of 1 million tonne in the first year of operation and will go up to 10 million tonnes in five years making it possible for the port to emerge as the number one bunkering port in the Indian Ocean.

Several private firms are keen to develop Gopalpur into a major all-weather multi-commodity port. The Adani Group has proposed to invest Rs.7 billion to create facilities for handling about 7 million tonnes of cargo. Besides the Sea King, Gujarat and ABC Company Limited, Mumbai have also shown their interest in the project. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of the state has constituted a cabinet committee to consider the proposal and the selection of the private partner would be made soon. The selected party would have to implement the project on a built, own, operate, share and transfer (BOOST) basis.

Department of Shipping has initiated measures to raise port's productivity as well the efficiency of dock labour board. The various steps include introduction of interchangeability between dock and shore workers, provision of multi-skill training to the workers, deployment of composite gangs for cargo handling, productivity-linked reward scheme for port officers and employees and application of various productivity-linked reward scheme for port officers and employees and application of various productivity-linked incentive scheme for cargo handling workers and for maintenance staff. Moreover efforts had been initiated for the corporatisation of major ports of New Mangalore, Mormugao and Tuticorin, besides JNPT, Haldia and Ennore.

NMPT is likely to float global tenders for setting up of a container terminal on BOT-basis. Seven key players including Maersk, Dubai Port Authority, International Seaports and Hutchison (Hong Kong) have expressed their interests for the project. NMPT is planning to develop a general cargo berth having a draft of 15 meters at an estimated cost of Rs.0.5 billion.

Ministry of Law is likely to amend Major Port Trust's Act for corporatisation issue of major ports, which would require the Ministry of Shipping to carry out two specific amendments. These amendments include a provision to be introduced to de-notify the major ports slated for corporatisation from the purview of the Major Port Trust Act, 1963. The second one is, the Union Government will have to introduce amendments to section 29 of the MPT Act to facilitate the transfer of assets and liabilities of the central government from the Port Trust Board to the new corporate entity.

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News on Shipping

Three bidders short-listed for Petronet's Dahej project include JGC of Japan, IHI of Japan and SN Technigaz of France. The project is expected to be worth around Rs.20 billion and would comprise of a LNG receiving terminal, along with storage and re-gasification facilities at Dahej.

Buyback of the GE Shipping will not affect fleet expansion plan of the company. The company has already placed an order for three Aframax tankers and one product tanker to be delivered in 2002-03 for $160 million. The company has also held back its preferential offer for which an enabling resolution was passed at the last annual general meeting. At the proposed maximum price of Rs.42 per share with the deployed amount of Rs1.5 billion, the number of shares to be bought back would be 3,57,14,285 amounting to around 13.8% of the pre-buyback paid-up equity share capital.

Meanwhile, the company, in consortium with Exmar Shipping Company and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) would submit its bid for LNG transportation for Petronet LNG, where the Great Eastern Shipping would hold 26% stake in the consortium while Exmar and IOC would hold 50% and 24% respectively.

In a separate development, GE Shipping has acquired a product tanker for US$24 million, the delivery of which is expected in the next two weeks.

Shipping Corporation of India plans to extend Far East container line service - Presently SCI operates the JNP-Singapore service in consortium with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) with three ships. The extended service would commence from Colombo, Singapore and may call on a few Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese ports. The total capacity of the service from Jawaharlal Nehru port to Singapore would be increased to gain economies of scale. SCI also expects to increase its revenue by Rs.0.7 billion per annum through this extended liner services and another Rs.0.5 to 0.6 billion would be added by increasing the capacities of the other existing liner services.

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News on Shipyards

Cochin Shipyard Limited bags Rs.0.53 billion dredging contract to undertake the construction of one ocean going trailing suction hopper dredger for the Chennai Port Trust. The contract would partially reserve the shipbuilding capacity of the yard for 16 months. Construction of a bollard pull tug for the Chennai Port is also being processed. The yard is expecting to exceed its highest ship repair turnover of Rs.1.2 billion achieved in 1997-98 by this year.

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News on Logistics

Concor's CFS at Tiruvottiyur has been notified as Customs hub for consolidation, aggregation of export/import cargo meant for/to various inland container depots. The CFS has also been permitted to handle LCL load. The Chennai custom's notification would enable exporters / importers in the hinterland to have the Customs clearances done at the nearest ICDs, thus making savings. The service includes daily bonded-trucking of LCL consignments between ICD/Bangalore and Chennai.

WSA Lines has stuffed the first LCL container at ICD-Daulatabad - The container belonged to Pacific International Lines Limited. The customs had allowed earlier the facility of consolidating LCL cargo at the ICDs and CFSs for further reworking and exporting to destination ports through the LCL hubs. The services offered by WSA (Bombay) include NVOCC, LCL services worldwide, deconsolidation, CFS operations, transshipment, transportation, warehousing logistics and project cargo movement.

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Kerala Shipping & Inland Navigation Corporation Limited has invited offers for

Name of the work: Design, construction and supply of one number Portable, Steel Hull Inland, Hydraulic Cutter Suction Dredger for dredging silt, clay, gravel and mixture of any of the above.
Address for communication: Raman Centre, Valanjambalam, Kochi-16, Kerala, India. Sealed offers to be submitted: on or before 15.00 hrs on 5-1-2001.
Tel: 0484-360469/354853/3513662
Fax: 0484-370469

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