Week ending April 22, 2001


News on Ports

Major ports of India fall short of its throughput target fixed by the Ministry of Shipping although the combined throughput of the major ports registered a 3.32% growth in 2000-01 over the last fiscal. In terms of meeting targets, the Cochin Port ranked top by handling 13.11 million tonnes of cargo against the target of 12 million tonnes, up by 9.1% and closely followed by Visakhapatnam Port that exceeded the target by 3.92% with a traffic throughput of 44.6 million tonnes against the target of 43 million tonnes and emerged as India's premier port in terms of throughput. Paradip port emerged as the third fastest growing port by exceeding its targeted traffic by 3.65%.

On the other hand, the Calcutta Dock System (CDS) under the Calcutta Port has recorded the maximum negative growth. The port managed a throughput of 7.15 million tonnes against a target of 8.0 million tonnes falling short by 10.54%. However Haldia Dock, under the same port authority, has posted a 10% growth to record 22 million tonnes. CDS is followed by Kandla, which fell short of the target by 5.79% by handling 36.7 million tonnes against the target of 39 million tonnes.

Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) has registered 8% growth in traffic during the year 2000-01. The port has handled 19.63 million tonnes cargo including 15.94 million tonne export and 3.69 million tonne import traffic. Foreign exchange earning of the port through exports touched to Rs. 13.86 billion in the same year. The port's mechanical ore handling plant unloaded a record 10.37 million tonne ore from barges in 2000-01 and a record 55,625 tonne ore on a single day on February 19, 2001 as against the earlier highest of 55,557 tonne.

Traffic throughput at Tuticorin port has exceeded the 12-million mark by registering 22.93% increase during the financial year 2000-01 over the previous year. The total traffic during the period was 12.28 million tonnes, exceeding the previous year's traffic of 9.99 million tonnes. The exports stood at 2.44 million tonnes whereas imports were 9.83 million tonnes.

Gujarat Government has undertaken a Rs.0.15 billion plan to renovate Navlakhi port, which was damaged after the devastating earthquake. The State Government has already received seven bids for this purpose. It took a sum of Rs.10 million involving more than two months to make the port operational.

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News on Shipping

GE Shipping has finished off the buy-back programme of its equity shares to the extent of Rs.1.49 billion. The board has been empowered to buy back equity shares to the extent of Rs.1.5 billion from the open market at a maximum price of Rs.42 per share.

Meanwhile, the company has bought back 4,29,40,980 shares from the open market for a total consideration of Rs.1.49 billion.

P&O, the global maritime conglomerate, has floated a cruise division - Princes Cruises in India in a move to acquire a share of the fast-growing domestic luxury cruise segment. The cruise wing would be part of P&O Travel India established in 1995, as a joint venture between UK-based P&O Travel and Great Eastern Shipping with a share of 75% and 25% equity stake respectively. The company would also provide inbound ticketing and forex services besides the newly commenced cruise division. Princes Cruises, one of the three largest cruise lines in the world, presently offers more that 150 routes ranging from 7 to 72 days, calling on more that 230 ports around the world.

The Government is likely to finalise the LNG policy, which has been on hold for the past one year, on moving a cabinet note for the approval of specific issues like the nature and scope of regulation in the sector, role of Indian shipping companies in LNG transportation and rationalization of taxes and duties. The Cabinet has proposed, in a major shift from the earlier observations of the Committee of Secretaries, that the regulator will not fix any ceiling on the import price of LNG.

Further it has also suggested that a group consisting of the major consuming departments, the ministry of petroleum and natural gas and the department of economic affairs should work out the demand supply positions for the next ten years. One of the major aspects of the cabinet note pertains to the rationalization of taxes and duties for the sector for which it has been suggested that the sector should be given an infrastructure status by which it could be given a tax holiday for a period of ten years.

Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) have raised US$280 million to fund the two liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels that are being built at the Daewoo Shipyard in South Korea. The total project cost to build the two LNG carriers of 1,38,000 cubic meter capacity is likely to be around US$370m. The first LNG vessel is expected to be delivered on January 1, 2004, while the second one is scheduled to be delivered a year later on January 1, 2005.

Diamond Shipping Company has joined hands with Russian freight forwarding company to handle shipments to and from Russia through the Iranian port of Bander Abbas. The transit time would be 33 days from Kolkata to Moscow and the freight rates would be US$4,000 per FEU and US$2800 per TEU. The shipment from the East coast would be transhipped from Colombo while those from the West coast would go straight to the Iranian port. Diamond Shipping would issue one single multi-modal document to be valid from the time of acceptance of the cargo from the shippers till its delivery to the importers.

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News on Logistics

American President Lines (APL), the global shipping conglomerate, is exploring for strategic alliance to provide end-to-end logistics solutions in India and evaluating proposals with few prospective companies including Container Corporation of India (Concor). APL, which presently has two wholly owned subsidiaries, APL India and APL Logistics India is aiming to expand its business in Indian Logistics market along with its potential alliance partner Concor.

In a separate development, APL is planning to launch a new liner service from India to the Far East and Middle East. The service, with a capacity of 4,900 TEUs would be a weekly service and the ports of call for the liner service would be Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan in the Far East and Fujeirah in the Middle East.

XPS, Skysea Freight International in pact - XPS, the express cargo division of the Rs. 5.0 billion Transport Corporation of India has singed a pact with Skysea Freight International, a division of ETA-ASCON group of companies of Dubai to facilitate distribution of air cargo to and from West Asia. The tie up would seek to exploit the import potential to the country following the lifting of the quantitative restrictions.

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Mormugao Port Trust has invited applications for lease of about 200 sq. meters of land near Gate No. 9 of Mormugao Port for setting up a 60 tonne Electronic Road Weighbridge.
Name of the work: Lease of 200 sq. meters of land near berth no. 10 & 11 for setting up a 60 tonne Electronic Road Weighbridge.
The last date of receipt of application is April 30, 2001 at 12.00 hrs.
Address For Communication: Mormugao Port Trust, Headland Sada, Goa-403 804

National Highways Authority of India has invited Expression of Interest from Consultancy firms for appointment as Independent Consultant on Tada- Nellore project in the state of Andhra Pradesh on BOT (built-operate and transfer basis.
Name of the work: Widening of NH-5 from km. 52.8 to km. 163.6 between Tada and Nellore and NH-9 between km.217 to km.252 between Nandigama and Ibrahim Patnam to 4 lanes.
Expression of Interest should reach at the latest by 1500 hours on April 30, 2001.
Address For Communication: General Manager (WB)-II National Highways Authorities of India, 1, Eastern Avenue, Maharani Bagh,New Delhi- 110065.
Tel: 011-6841256
Fax: 011-6924383
E-mail: nhai@vsnl.com
Website: www.nhai.org

Eastern Railway has invited sealed tenders for hiring of Road Transport for transportation of railway materials from LLH Stores Depot/LCD to Asansol and LLH/LCD to Andul
Cost of tenders: Rs.500/-
Tenders are available from the Office of Dy. Controller of Stores, E.Railway., Liluah daily between 10.00 hrs. to 16.00 hrs.
The last date of receipt of application is June 25, 2001 upto 13.30 hrs.
Address for communication: Eastern Railway, 17, N.S.Bose Road, Kolkata 700 001.

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