News on Ports

Global shipping firms vie to build JNPT terminal Major international shipping lines and port operators, including Port of Singapore (PSA), P&O Ports, Hutchinson Port, NYK, Kelang Port, Maersk Sealand and Evergreen have reportedly shown interest in building a new container terminal at JNP on BOT basis for 30 years. The port had earlier floated a tender for expression of interest (EoI) from interested parties and is expected to float global tender by end of January 2002. According to plans, converting the four existing bulk berths - BB1, BB2, BB3 and BB4, will pave the way for a new container terminal.

Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Kochi mooted to boost Vallarpadam project Cochin Port Trust (CPT) has submitted to the Union government a proposal for setting up a special economic zone (SEZ) at the Kochi. A detailed concept paper will be submitted to the ministry in one month. The project will connect the proposed Vallarpadam Trans-shipment container terminal, Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal and various other projects proposed near Kochi port. Meanwhile, a decision is awaited on the likely re-tendering of the Vallarpadam project. As per the earlier global tender notification, only one company, P&O Ports had responded.

Kandla Port's decongestion moves helps cut container waiting period The revised productivity-linked berthing policy, introduced by Kandla Port Trust (KPT) last September to ease congestion, has yielded considerable improvement in container handling. According to port authorities, following the revised berthing policy, the throughput in dry cargo handling in October and November has resulted in average growth rate of 5 per cent and 8 per cent respectively. Besides, the container vessels get berth on arrival without any waiting period and the average waiting period of vessels has come down from 10 days to 2-3 days. A record quantity of 10.65 lakh tones of dry cargo was handled in October, surpassing the previous monthly record of 9.88 lakh tonne.

P&O Ports allowed existing rates at Chennai Port P&O Ports has obtained the permission of the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) to continue with the existing rates at its container terminal at Chennai Port, till its own proposal on tariff submitted to TAMP is finalised. Meanwhile, P&O is reportedly signing a purchase deal with Germany's Noel, for terminal crane equipment worth $27 million.

Congestion surcharge hiked to $200 per teu The Container feeder operators at Chennai port have increased the immediate congestion surcharge (ICS) to $200 per teu from $125 per teu, effective from December 18, 2001. The decision follows deterioration in the situation with vessels held up for over 20 days. According to reports, there are around 2,000 import containers at the container terminal waiting to be unloaded.

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News on Shippings

Shipping majors submit bids for Sandheads Project Four major shipping companies including Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd. (GESCO), Essar Shipping Ltd. and Saipem of Malaysia have submitted their technical and financial bids for Floating Storage Offloading (FSO) project planned by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) at Sandheads near Haldia. Under the innovative plan, big crude carriers would come and off-load the crude cargo into the very large crude carrier (VLCC) moored at Sandheads as an FSO, from where it would be further evacuated through dedicated daughter vessels, ferrying between Sandheads and Haldia. Presently, crude tankers bound for Haldia are anchored in the mid-sea, due to draft restrictions at Haldia port, and crude oil is off-loaded through smaller vessels.

Greenfield Shipping to go for 'step up' charter rate with Oman Greenfield Shipping Company has decided to opt for the 'step up' charter rate system with the Oman government for deploying its 1,37,000 cubic metre capacity tanker "LNG Laxmi". The Oman government has sub-chartered LNG Laxmi to its 51 per cent subsidiary Oman LNG, which will deploy the tanker to transport LNG cargo to Europe and South Korea on spot basis. The vessel was originally built for the Enron-promoted Dabhol Power rate would be below $70,000 per day. Between the fifth and tenth year, the time charter will go up to a little over $80,000 per day. After the completion of tenth year there will be another charter rate. DPC had earlier contracted the LNG vessel at $ 98,600 per day.

Kerala to launch shipping service on Gulf routes Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation is floating a global tender for a ship service from Kochi to Gulf countries. The proposed service is expected to carry between 1,000-1, 500 people.

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News on Shipyards

Alcock Ashdown gets cracking with orders from Andaman & Nicobar Administration Alcock Ashdown Gujarat Ltd. (AAG), a shipyard on the Saurashtra coast, with a current order position of about Rs 70 crore has become a leading ship builder for the Andaman & Nicobar (A&N) administration. In 2000-01, the A&N administration has came up with orders worth Rs.37.5 crore for AAG in the form of five vessels, including a passenger vessel and cargo tugs each costing Rs. 7.5 crores. The company is also building three other vessels, including a single ferryboat, with a capacity to carry 400 passengers. The construction period for ferryboat is 30 months.

News on Logistics

Rs. 5, 665 crore required for inland water transport during tenth five-year plan Under the tenth five-year plan (2002-07), the Planning Commission has estimated the requirements of funds for inland water transport system at Rs. 5, 665 crores. According to estimates made by the working group, Rs.1, 044 crore of this amount is expected to come from budgetary support, while Rs. 3, 369 crore will come from the external funding. The remaining amount will be raised through floatation of bonds by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and through private investment. The working group has earmarked Rs.136 crore to be raised by the IWAI and another Rs. 216 crore by way of private investments for development of the sector during the next five years.

Maersk Logistics floats venture in Nepal Maersk Logistics, the logistics subsidiary of Danish shipping major, has launched a joint venture in Nepal, involving its Indian arm - Maersk India Private Limited. The move aims at consolidating Maersk's presence in South Asia, where it already has operations in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, besides India.

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