Week ending July 11, 2002


News on Ports

TAMP to shift its operations to Mumbai The Union government has decided to shift the operations of the Tariff Authority for major Ports (TAMP) from New Delhi to Mumbai. The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation has approved a decision to this effect. Meanwhile, the government is working on formulating a draft law to set up an appellate tribunal, whereby the major ports and the service providers at major ports would be free to fix their tariffs with an appellate body taking care of grievances of the users.

Tuticorin Port aiming for net surplus of Rs. 44.2 crore Tuticorin Port Trust has estimated that it would handle 13.65 million tones of cargo during 2002-03 and achieve a targeted net surplus of Rs.44.19 crore. The port handled 13.02 million tones against 12.28 million tones the year before. The port hopes to show some improvement against last year's reduction in operating cost of handling cargo. The net surplus during 2001-02 increased to Rs.40.49 crore the previous year, mainly because of increased traffic handling and emphasis on cost reduction. The cost reduction exercise had brought down the operating expenditure to Rs.58.09 crore, a decrease of Rs.2.03 crore over the previous year. The handling cost per tonne of cargo was Rs.72.88 against Rs. 76.47 in 2000-01. The port is procuring and installing three tonne grab cranes in VOC berths III and IV at a cost of Rs.19.42 crore.

Kandla Port to float fresh tender for setting up container terminal After turning down the offer from P&O Ports, which had proposed to build the terminal on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis for 30-year period, the Kandla Port Trust (KPT) is now once again working on floating a fresh tender for the same project. The P&O bid for the project was earlier approved at a cost of Rs. 370 crore but was later turned down, as the P&O Ports had insisted on a monopoly status at the port, which was unacceptable to KPT. However, it is not clear if the fresh tender will provide for a monopoly in operating the container terminal at the port. Kandla Port has handled 37.7 million tones of cargo in 2001-02 compared with about 42 million tonne recorded by Vishakapatanam port in the Eastern coast.

Kochi port cargo volume up by 42 per cent in first quarter Kochi port has registered a record growth of 42 per cent in the first quarter ended June, which is the highest among the eleven major ports in the country. The port has handled 3.3 million tones of cargo during this period as against 2.3 million tones of cargo during the corresponding period in the previous year. The increase in traffic is attributed the increased handling of crude oil, containers, fertilizers, coal and iron scrap. A significant increase is seen in the total tonnage of container traffic at 4,43,000 tonnes as against 2,99,000 tonnes in the same period.

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News on Shipping

SCI signs up COA with BPCL for crude transportation Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has signed a contract of affreightment (COA) with the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.(BPCL) for transporting its crude cargo from the Persian Gulf for a six month period, with an option for extensions of three months each. Under the agreement, the SCI will be paid freight rates based on AFRA rates compiled by the London Tanker Broker's Panel Ltd. The negotiations for signing of the deal between the two public sector undertakings, both slated for disinvestments of the strategic stake had been going on for sometime and comes as a major gain for the SCI, which had only recently lost its erstwhile nodal agency status for crude transportation. The SCI is also negotiating a similar contract with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) for moving its crude supplies from Persian Gulf. Both the public sector oil refineries have together signed long-term contracts with suppliers in Persian Gulf for buying 15 million tonnes of crude during the current fiscal for their refineries in Mumbai and Kochi (BPCL) and Mumbai and Vishakapatanam (HPCL).

News on Shipyards

Plea to expedite clearance of ADS project The Cochin Shipyard Joint Action Council Against Privatization has called upon the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security to immediately intervene for expediting the approval of the revised estimate for the construction of Air Defence Ship (ADS) proposed to be built in the yard. In a memorandum submitted to the committee, the action council has urged that a revised estimate of Rs. 3,500 crore for the construction of ADS as per the requirements of the Navy was awaiting clearance from the Cabinet committee on Security. If the revised estimate was approved, the construction could be started next year and completed within five years. Cochin Shipyard Ltd. (CSL) received the original letter of intent on ADS in 1999 and the initial estimate for the project was 1,300 crore. For the infrastructure development an amount of Rs.32.7 crore was sanctioned to CSL on two occasions.

Plan panel earmarks Rs.2,200 crore for upgradation and development The working group on shipping for the Tenth Plan has set an investment target of Rs.2,200 crore for upgradation and development of shipyards and a revenue target of Rs. 15,800 crore from activities of the shipyards during the plan period. The investment would be mainly made on strengthening core activities, including shipbuilding and ship repair by various yards. The panel has earmarked about Rs.800 crore towards upgrading existing yards for carnage, pre-outfitting, computer-aided engineering, manufacturing and ship repair. About Rs. 100 crore has been allocated for training of personnel. A target of delivering 3,60,000 dwt has been set for shipyards, consisting of mix of product carriers, containers and passenger ships, frigates, mine counter measures, pollution control vessels, high bollard pull tugs, dredgers together valued at about Rs.14, 000 crore. In the offshore sector, a total turnover of Rs. 1,250 crore has been targeted, with ship repairs expected yield revenue of Rs. 1,900 crore.

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News on Ship Breaking

Coimbatore entrepreneurs seek ship breaking yard in South The Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) has urged the Central government to approve the Vallinokkam port in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu for undertaking ship breaking works. Opening up a ship breaking yard in South will help make available scrap metal, used in the steel-rerolling mills at a lesser cost, CODISSIA has urged.

News on Inland Waterways

UP government to launch luxury cruise on Ganges The tourism department of the Uttar Pradesh government is set to launch an ambitious project under which a luxury boat will sail along the Ganges river from Varanasi to Chunar. A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect has been signed between Womsi India Ltd. and the tourism department of the state government, under which the former will manufacture "Bajras" (the luxury boats), each of which can carry up to 90 tourists. These luxury boats would be air-conditioned and would have all modern facilities. Womsi India will also provide jetty facility for these boats at various points. The service would be eventually extended up to Allahabad.

Kolkata Port plans to convert idle jetties into inland cargo terminals Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has decided to convert some of the idle jetties into inland water cargo terminals. KoPT has already short-listed eight jetties presently lying idle at the Kidderpore dock for this purpose. As per the plan as soon as the Customs authorities issue necessary notification orders, these jetties would be handed over to either Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) or to some private operators on long lease. The proposed move is in line with the policy of Shipping ministry to develop Kolkata Dock System as a hub for IWAI traffic

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News on Logistics

Warehousing receipts made into negotiable instruments An inter-ministerial task force headed by Mr. RCA Jain, Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Agriculture has submitted a report which has recommended that warehouse receipts (WR) issued by warehouse operators, both in the public as well as private sectors be made fully negotiable instruments. It has also recommended the enactment of a Central legislation similar to Multi-Modal Transportation of Goods Act 1993 to make WRs fully negotiable instruments and transferable by endorsement. The task force has also recommended that Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) be made into a accreditation agency for warehousing operators to enforce prescribed warehousing standards and protect the interests of WR holders against negligence, malpractice or fraud. Under the WR system farmers or traders instead of directly selling their produce in mandis, can deposit it with licensed warehouse operators, who in turn issue them WRs. The farmers can either retain these receipts - to reclaim the underlying commodities later in anticipation of higher prices or use them as collateral for obtaining bank finance.

Gati to operate its second Millennium cargo trainThe millennium parcel express , a joint enterprise between Gati and Indian Railways has launched operations of its second cargo train between Delhi and Mumbai. The train has a single stopover at Valsad, with a transit time of 30 hours to complete its journey. The first such cargo train to be launched by the Indian Railways in alliance with corporate sector was launched between Mumbai-Kolkata in the beginning of 2002. The Millennium parcel express, having a capacity of 230 tonnes is specially designed to carry high-value express cargo. Gati is now believed to be planning to further extend similar train services between Delhi and Bangalore, Delhi and Guwahati among other sectors


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