Week ending April 15, 2001


News on Ports

Ports are likely to exceed the Ninth Plan target of 424 million metric tonness in cargo handling. The major ports are likely to reach about 344 million metric tonnes, while the minor ports would contribute around 120 million metric tonnes.† The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has reached 1 million TEUs during 2000-2001 and also obtained an ISO 9002 certification. The port has undertaken the development of the 40 km road for connectivity to the JNP port at a cost of Rs.3.5 billion and is likely to be completed in two years. It has also undertaken a construction of a Rs.2.0 billion liquid cargo berth by a joint venture of BPCL and IOC on built-operate-transfer (BOT) basis along with a marine terminal at a cost of Rs.17 billion.

Meanwhile, the Cochin Port Trust has set an all time record of 0.14 million tonnes in container handling during 2000-01, registering a growth of 10% over last yearís. The port had handled 13.11 million tonnes of cargo compared to a target of 12 million tonnes for the year, showing an increase of 1.11 million tonnes.

The Central Government is planning to raise powers vested under section 111 of the Major Port Trusts Act to over-rule a decision made by the Board of Trustees of Kandla port rejecting the bid by P&O Ports of Australia to operate a container terminal at the port. This may discourage the impetus to attract the flow of private investment into the ports sector. The P&O Ports was selected as the highest bidder after a process of competitive bidding and the rejection of the proposal comes to the port after the letter of intent was issued for which no reason has been given by the board of trustees.

Mather & Platt (India) Limited has bagged a Rs.110 million contract from New Mangalore Port Trust for an oil jetty project by utilising long distance water-cum-foam monitors of special construction suitable for seawater application. These monitors that are mounted on towers, are capable of dispensing foam onto the jetties to tackle any fire emergencies and are electronically controlled by remote joysticks and Mather and Platt claims to be the only company in India to provide such products for its in-house resources.

Petronet LNG Limited has short listed Dahej Harbour & Infrastructure Limited promoted by Aditya Birla group and Adani Exports Limited, for developing and operating the three million tonnes solid cargo port at Dahej in Gujarat on build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. Crisil Advisory Services (CAS) carried out the evaluation of the offers for developing the solid cargo port.

In a separate development, the Adani Group is also operating a port at Mundra and is likely to increase the groupís hold over the Western coast if it gets the BOOT contract for Petronetís solid cargo port.

The Traffic Manager of Calcutta Port has issued notification that as per the dimension of the vessel and the draft permitting, all vessels carrying logs to Calcutta Dock System (CDS) will be allowed to discharge their cargo inside the impounded docks only. The vessel with a draft more than the permissible limit for CDS, would be allowed at Saugor Island till her load is reduced to the level to conform to the draft suitable for coming to the CDS.

Meanwhile, the Calcutta Dock Labour Board (CDLB) has decided to reduce the rates in respect of logs by 20% across the board. The CPT has also decided to allot space within the docks on licence basis for the storage of logs.

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News on Shipping

Promoters of Varun Shipping plans to hike stake in the company if its rights issue is not fully subscribed. The company management considers this situation due to the depressed stock market condition and response of shareholders to the issue till April, 2001.

Meanwhile, the company has posted an 81% increase in net profit to Rs.162 million for the fiscal 2000-2001 against Rs.89 million last year. The board of directors has recommended a dividend of Rs.1.50 per share (15%) as compared to Rs.1.40 per share offered previously.†

In a separate development, the company is planning to expand its tanker fleet, being encouraged by the buoyant freight markets.† The expansion programme is likely to involve a cost of Rs.1.02 billion of which, 70% would be met through debts and the remaining 30% would come from equity.

Shellís Rs.23 billion Hazira LNG project has received environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Hazira port and LNG terminal project which will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs.23 billion, was awarded to a consortium led by Shell Gas BV following an international competitive bid in November 1999. The five million tonness per annum-capacity project is now proceeding rapidly.

The Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) has posted a turnover of Rs.4.2 billion for the financial year 2000-01 showing an increase of 27% compared to the previous yearís turnover of 3.3 billion. DCI had initiated steps to accelerate its acquisition programme after facing the threat from foreign dredging companies.

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News on Logistics

Container Corporation (Concor) has initiated measures to boost domestic container traffic from the North-East. The siding at New Guwahati Railway Station is being developed to handle more of domestic container traffic. Concor also considers setting up a full-fledged container terminal at New Guwahati at a separate location. Concor started handling domestic containers at New Guwahati in 1994 and its incoming throughput was 1,467 TEUs in 2000-2001, mostly on account of Hindustan Lever Limited and Nestle, which generally transport their products in Railway containers to cater to the north-eastern markets.

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National Highways Authority of India has invited sealed tenders under two-cover system.
Name of the work: Invitation for Bid for Supply, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of Water Treatment Plant for NHAIís Corporate Office.
Cost of tender document: Rs.2000/-
Documents are available
between 1000 hours and 1700 hours on all working days from 16 April, 2001 to 30 April, 2001.
Tender should reach on or before 1700 hrs. on 1 May, 2001.
Address For Communication: >General Manager (PU), 2nd Floor, 14 Indraj House, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi- 110065.
Tel: 011-632-5905
Fax: 011-632-5904
E-mail: nhai@vsnl.com
Website: www.nhai.org.


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