Week ending August 5, 2001


News on Ports

Jawaharlal Nehru Port is working closely with Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT) to develop the port into a hub port on the western coast. Being a modern container terminal, the NSICT has been developed as the first port project in the country under the privatization policy. NSICT is well connected by road and rail to all the industrial and cargo generating belts of the country and is well equipped to handle fifth generation vessels. This vision to create a hub port is likely to result in greater efficiency and savings to shipping lines and the Indian Shipping Trade.

Andhra Pradesh Government is charting out a strategy to accelerate the mega infrastructure projects mainly the Greenfield Hyderabad International Airport, the Gangavaram Port projects and the upgradation of the existing Begumpet airport. Reviewing the progress of Gangavaram port includes proposed invitation of Expression of Interest from prospective developers. A high-powered team in the presence of the Chief Minister reviewed various models from the proposed developers and the consultants. It is also proposed to upgrade the range of services available at the airport including expediting work towards upgrading customs and immigration wings.

Tuticorin Port has created a new record by handling 16,260 tonnes of industrial coal from vessel Aigeorois on July 25, the highest quantity of the cargo unloaded in a day so far. Compass Shipping and Trading Co. Ltd. were the steamer agents and South India Corporation Ltd. the stevedores.

Visakhapatnam Port has created three national records in July 2001 surpassing its own records established earlier. The port handled 4.58 million tonnes of cargo during the month exceeding its own record of 4.45 million tonnes achieved in January this year. Likewise, a record volume of 99,575 tonnes of crude oil was discharged in a day on July 31 surpassing the previous best discharge of 94,027 tonnes on November 20, 2000.

In a separate development, the port plans to invite fresh bids shortly for acquisition of four electric level-luffing cranes of 20 tonnes capacity . Though tender was floated earlier for the purpose, acquisition didn't materialize even after two years due to the leaving of the foreign collaborator of the Indian firm, selected as L1 bidder of the collaboration agreement.

Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has withdrawn powers from Ministry of Shipping to provide environmental clearance to port projects proposed to be set up within the existing port limits. As a result, the Empowered Committee on Environment Clearance (ECEC), set up within the Ministry of Shipping to oversee this task has become redundant. Accordingly, private entrepreneurs seeking to set up port projects within the existing port limits will have to approach the Ministry of Environment and Forests for securing its green signal before proceeding with the implementation of the project.

Kerela Government has initiated steps to develop minor ports in the state, which was at an indeterminate state for more than a year. The secretary of Ports has conveyed a meeting with the representatives of the Kumar Energy Corporation as a part of the attempt to revive the proposal of developing the existing small harbour into a major container port has been estimated at a cost of Rs.8.0 billion. The Directorate of Ports has already invited bids from consultants for preparation of a detailed project report covering the points of evaluation of potential for tourism, passenger movement through sea, coastal shipping and the likely share of traffic for the port. Meanwhile, the government is working on a plan for revival of cargo operations at Alappuzha port. A 'marina' for water sports and other recreational activities has also been a part of the plan, which may cost around Rs.1.5 billion.

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News on Shippings

Indian Shipping Companies have posted impressive financial results for the first quarter ended June, 2001 with a continuing success after riding on the tanker market boom. SCI's net profit goes up by almost five times to Rs.1.12 billion during the period. GE Shipping has posted its highest ever net profit of Rs.610 million for the quarter against Rs.480 million for the corresponding period last year. Essar Shipping Limited has recorded a net profit of Rs.250 million for the first quarter of 2001-02, registering an increase of 141%. The major contribution has come from the tanker segment that had been doing relatively well during the first quarter.

The Shipping Corporation of India gets PIB nod against the proposal to acquire two Suezmax tankers at an estimated cost of USD51 million each. After getting the approval from the Public Investment Board (PIB), the proposal is awaiting the Cabinet approval. Meanwhile, four Aframax tankers of 110,000 dwt each and under construction at Hyundai shipyard are expected to be delivered by end 2002 / early 2003.

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News on Logistics

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has cleared two annuity projects in favour of GMR (G Mallikarjun Rao) Group, the lowest bidder for the projects. Under the annuity method, the private operator will not collect tolls from the users of the highway but will be paid a fixed semi-annual sum termed 'annuity' by the NHAI during the concession period to compensate the operator for the capital costs, operation and maintenance expenses of the project and returns thereon. The NHAI board has also decided to equip the authority to talk to the lowest bidder for the Panagarh-Palsit highway project wherein the Malaysian consortium of Gamuda-WCT combine had quoted the lowest annuity amounted to Rs.698 billion.

Container Corporation of India (Concor) receives good response from its dedicated container service between Cossipore and Tughlakabad ICDs. Lots of jute goods are being moved through this service and the cargo inducement comprising a variety of items in the opposite direction too has been encouraged till date. Meanwhile, Concor's earlier plan to run a similar dedicated service between Shalimar (Kolkata) and Ahmedabad/Mumbai via Nagpur, are being worked out with three zonal railways such as South Eastern, Central and Western to be involved for this purpose. Concor is currently engaged in exercise to make the Haldia-Cossipore service attractive to the importers and exporters.

On a move to boost up its revenues, the South Central Railways (SCR) has launched a new scheme, the millennium parcel express trains on lease, for the benefit of traders and transporters for movement of goods from Hyderabad and Vijaywada to Delhi and Kolkata. The trains would be operated from Sanatnagar new goods complex to Tughlakabad (Delhi) and to Shalimar (Kolkata) and back and also from Vijayawada to Shalimar and back.

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