Week ending December 2, 2001

   

News on Ports

Port connectivity gets under way. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has initiated action on its plan of connecting the country's 11 major ports with National Highways. Already, the construction projects have been awarded for Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Nhava Sheva, Haldia, Mormugao and Kandla ports.. The JNPT port connectivity project, a joint venture between Thakur-Mahatre-Unity for the first section of the project connecting JNPT with NH4 and NH 4B totaling 29 km is being taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 140 crore. The highway project connecting Haldia port from Kolaghat on NH6 to Haldia on NH41 totalling 55 km would result similarly in a joint venture between CWHEC (China) and HCIL at an estimated cost of Rs 220 crore. Projects connecting Kandla port with NH 8A totaling 56 km and that connecting Mormugao port with NH 17B totaling 18 km are currently under progress. Port connectivity projects will be executed through NHAI-owned special purpose vehicles (SPV's), wherein the port trusts will contribute their equity & debt.

Vizag's Ore Handling Complex helps save Rs 72 crore. The Vizag port has made a saving of Rs. 72 crore over the past three years through improved performance of the 25-year old Ore Handling Complex (OHC). The OHC facility was source of major problems until few years ago, resulting in drainage of significant foreign exchange resources in the form of demurrages. Until 1998, several operational constraints had prevented the port from achieving optimum loading rate leading to delays and consequent payment of huge demurrages. The incidence of demurrage at Vizag port, which was to the order of Rs 37.41/tonne in 1997-98 has now fallen drastically to Rs 2.49 in the current fiscal. Before 1997-98, OHC's loading rate ranged between 25,000-40,000 tonnes per day that is now improved to 60,000-70,000 tonnes with 50% of vessels registering loading rates over 50000 tonnes. Average waiting time of iron ore vessels, which was 2.05 days in 1997-98 was increased to 10 hours last fiscal and 5.5 hours current fiscal. Average stay of iron ore vessels at the port also registered a decrease from 8.67 days to 3.38 days.

Extension of reservation to Bengal Tiger Lines at Chennai Port The Ministry of Shipping has reportedly favoured extension of term for one-third reservation to Bengal Tiger Lines at Chennai Port. The Chennai Port authority earlier terminated the reservation as the terminal was to be handled over to P&O Ports, which was awarded the BOT contract for developing the container terminal. The transfer of the terminal to P&O having been delayed following a court case, the Shipping Ministry is now believed to have taken the view that extension of term for Bengal Tiger Lines would be the best means to solve the congestion problems at the port.

Tenders

Mumbai Port Trust: Global Tender for Licensing of Dry Docks, along with two Wet Berths each for a period of 20 years on Operate & Manage Basis. Applications from interested parties may be obtained from the Office of the Chief Mechanical Engineer, Mumbai Port Trust at Nirman Bhavan, 5th floor, Clarke Bunder, Mazgaon, Mumbai-400 010 from 27.11.2001 to 21.12.2001. The document may be received before 21.12.2001 but dispatched by courier service on payment of Demand Draft Rs 3000/- for dispatch with India & US $75 for dispatch outside India. The tentative schedule for submission of Applications is as follows: Sale of RFQ document: 27.11.2001 - 21.12.2001. Last date for receiving queries before Pre-qualification meeting: 07.01.2002 at CME's office. Site Visit and pre-qualification meeting: 22.01. 2002 at 1100 hrs at Conference Hall, 7th floor, Vijay Deep, Ballard Estate, Mumbai 400010.

The Mechanical Engineering Department of Tuticorin Port Trust has invited Tender No: E(M)/AE/ELEC.11/F.5(2)/2001, dated: 22/11/2001 from Indian suppliers for the "Design Manufacture And Supply of 22 KV Switchgear with Vacuum Circuit Breaker" (Quantity 15 sets).The estimated value of the supplies is Rs. 1,15,75000/- and the earnest money to be deposited is Rs. 1 lakh only. Detailed tender specifications can be obtained on payment of Rs 1500.00 drawn in favour of the Financial Advisor & Chief Accounts Officer, Tuticorin Port Trust from 3.12.2001 to 19.2.2001. The tenders with detailed technical, price bid under two cover system will be received upto 21.12.2001 and cover No 1 will be opened on same day at 15.30 hrs.

Cargo Handling Division, Traffic Department, Chennai Port Trust has invited sealed tenders from the reputed contractors for work of cement and painting from block A16 to 23 at Tondiarpet Housing Colony. Tender document can be had from Executive Engineer upto 19-12-2001 on payment of Rs 106 each/-. EMD payable Rs 7942/- should accompany the tender superscribing name of work as above. Sealed tenders should reach on or before 19-12-2001 before 3.00 p.m. and opened at 3.30 p.m. on the same day

Dredging Corporation of India Ltd has invited tender dated 17-11-2001 for maintenance dredging of behind the naval jetties at Cochin navy for year 2001-2002 by deploying a suitable inland cutter suction dredger(s) it is to be noted that the quantity to be dredged is 2,00,000 cm (approx).

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News on Shippings

Shipping company's brace for a 20%-30% fall in profits Following the global slowdown, especially after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, the Indian shipping companies are anticipating bleak year-end results. Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) after posting record profits in '00-01 is now believed heading for a 25-30% fall in net profit in the current financial year. GE Shipping, Essar Shipping & Varun Shipping are also believed to be heading for drop in profits, though no official figures were available.

Tuticorin-US container service. Direct container service between Tuticorin and the US has commenced with the first vessel sailing off Tuticorin port on 17 October 2001. The vessel, MV Indamex-New Delhi, jointly operated by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and Contship Container Line on weekly basis will halt at the Tuticorin Port every Wednesday.

SCI to expand fleet and improve services. Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) is introducing a direct container service on fixed day weekly sailing basis linking Indian ports with Korea and China. With the LNG transportation expected to grow in the near future, the SCI has placed orders for four Aramex tankers, one LR- II tanker and three 50 tonne bollard pull tugs expected to be delivered between 2001 to 2003. The SCI has also planned to acquire two new Suezmax tankers to handle import of crude oil, which is also expected to increase in the coming years. It has also placed orders for LNG tankers of 13,8000 CBM capacity with Daewood Shipbuilding and Marine Engineer (DSME), South Korea which are expected to be delivered by December 2003 and 2004, in association with other consortium members for Petronet LNG project.

Government to sell 40% stake in Shipping Corporation of India
The divestment process for selling 40 % government stake is expected to take off in 2001-02. The government currently holds 80% stake in SCI, while the financial institutions hold remaining portion. Presently, 74% foreign direct investment is permitted via the automatic route in the shipping sector. The company has registered a profit of Rs 401.9 crores in '00-01 against Rs 161.6 crores in '99-00. Options like hiving off and offloading government stake in favour of the public and employee stock package are among the likely ways considered for bringing down government's equity in the corporation.

Pandu-Kolkata Waterway opened Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has launched its state-of- the art cargo vessel with a load of 550 tonnes, belonging to Hindustan Lever. The Pandu-Kolkata Waterway route taken up on a priority basis for exploiting the huge cargo potential of the region.

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News on Shipyards

Hooghly Shipyard resumes ship repairing
The Hooghly Dock & Port Engineers (HDPE's) has resumed voyage repairing of the SCI's vessels at Kolkata/Haldia. Over the past few months, dry docking of the other vessels, including Geological Survey of India's research vessel 'Samudra Manthan' and two other dredgers of Inland Waterways Authority of India, ID 1 & ID IV has also been undertaken. HDPE has also requested the DCI to send ocean-going dredgers for repairs, which could include Dredge XV. Kolkata port authorities have also been approached to place firm orders for undertaking repair of two of its vessels, a grab dredger and another vessel, 'Shatrghna'. The HDPE management is also exploring the possibility of undertaking repair of vessels of some other port trusts.

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