Week ending June 27, 2002


News on Ports

Mangalore port opens up new facilities New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has set up a new vessel traffic management system (VTMS) at a cost of Rs.6.88 crore to improve safety and reduce the risk of accidents. Bharat Electricals Ltd., Bangalore in association with Japan radio Co, has put the system together. The features of VTMS include an automatic identification system by which all ships coming within port limits would be identified without the necessity of making a communications link. With the new system it would now be possible to navgate a ship from the fairway buoy located at a distance of about eight km to the inner harbour with the physical presence of a pilot on board. Other features of the VTMS include radar sensor system and meteorological and hydrological system, which is expected to reduce the pilotage timing to the minimum. Along side VTMS, the NMPT has also launched an new oil tanker jetty capable of accommodating tankers of a size up to 85,000 dwt with a capacity to handle 7.9 million tonnes of POL crude and products per annum.

New box terminal planned at Vizag port Vizag Container Terminal Ltd., the joint venture between JM Baxi & Co Ltd., and Dubhai Port Authorities is setting up a deep-draught container terminal at Vishakapatanam Port. JM Baxi holds 74 per cent stake in Vizag Container, while the remaining 26 per cent rests with Dubhai Port Authorities, with a combined equity stake of Rs.55 crore. The proposed container terminal will have a draught of 16.5 metres, which will make it the deepest port in India. The new container terminal, which would be built on “ build, operate and transfer” (BOT) basis, would be capable of handling one million tones of containerized cargo every year. The total cost setting up this new terminal is estimated to be Rs.200 crore and will be commissioned by February 2003.

Ennore Port emerges as a model corporatised port Ennore Port Ltd., the first corporatised port in India, to have completed one full year of operations has emerged as a role model of a efficient port, showing maximum turnover with very minimal staff and large scale investment with just minimal strategic funding. The port, which employs just 15 persons including the chairman and managing director, handled 100 vessels and five million tones of coal in the first twelve months of operations. The EPL for 2001-02, has earned Rs. 30.49 crore spending just just Rs.3.25 crore making a operational surplus of Rs.27.34 crore. During 2002-03, the targets for turnover are Rs.75.60 crore, operating surplus Rs. 68 crore and coal handling of nine million tonnes. The port has planned a investment of Rs. 1,350 crore investments planned during 2002-07, with EPL contributing only Rs.350 crore, while rest of the amount wiould come from port users, mostly from private sector. Amon the major projects which have been initiated include a very large crude carrier jetty for handling 9.5 million tones of crude oil imports for CPCL, iron ore berth for handling 12-20 million tonnes, a coal handling terminal to handle three million tonnes of coal for users otherthan TNEB and an alongside jetty for handling three million tones of POL, products and chemicals and an LNG jetty handling 2.5 million tonne of LNG.

Second round tender for Vallarpadam box terminal The second round of tender bid for taking up the Vallarpadam transshipment hub at Kochi is likely to be issued in July, once the proposal is cleared at the forthcoming meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affaires (CCEA). The five million tonne per anum capacity Vallarpadam container terminal would come up as a private sector project on Build-Own-Operate (BOT) basis and had earlier attracted just one bid from P&O Ports (Australia) in 1998, which was turned down by the government. At the time the initial tender bid was made by P&O there were no clear-cut guidelines on private sector participation in ports sector. Presently, the Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) has proposed a new model to be adopted for such projects, based on limited tendering route.

TMIL takes over operations at Haldia and Paradip Ports Tata Iron & Steel has withdrawn from port-related operations and provisions of logistics services at Haldia and Paradip ports. TM International Logistics Pvt. Ltd. (TMIL) a joint venture of Tata Steel and Martrade & Holdings of Germany has taken over operations. At both ports, Tata Steel has transferred its assets as well as employees. The joint venture company acquired the berth at Haldia port on a long-term lease early his year. TMIL has also asked the Haldia port authorities to provide them with 50,000-sq.m back-up area adjacent to the berth no. 12 of the dock. The dock authorities have so far provided 15,000 sq.m adjacent to the berth.

Kerala government to revive Vizhinjam port project The Kerala government is seeking to revive the long pending proposal for the development of Vizhinjam port near Thiruvanathapuram, with steps being taken to conduct a technical feasibility study on the project. Under the initiative, ICICI-Kinfra, a joint venture between ICICI and Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation has entered into tie-up with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for conducting the study. The JV has already completed a similar technical feasibility study on the development of Azhikal port in Kannur district in association with Howai India Ltd. The proposal is to develop the existing harbour at Vizhinjam into a major commercial port on a build-own-operate (BOT) basis and the project is estimated to cost Rs.800 crore in the first phase. The Vizhinjam port is one of the five minor ports in Kerala identified for development way back in 1995. It is considered to have the potential to become a major container transshipment terminals being close to international shipping route between UK, West Asia and Far East.

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News on Shipping

Feeder operators to start services on East Coast With the commencement of the mainline service from Chennai to North China ports, the feeder operators are reportedly planning to introduce a service on the East Coast of India from Kolkata-Haldia-Chennai and between Kolkata- Chittagong. The feeder service, which is expected to commence in a couple of months, would eliminate the need to carry the cargo to Columbo and avoidthe transshipment cost, as also save on the transit time. The exportcargo from Kolkata and nearby regions is being transshipped through Columbo port due to non-availibility of feeder service. Major cargo items exported from Kolkata and surrounding areas include newsprint, garments, tea and rice to South-East Asan countries. As per available indications, operators desirous of introducing such services include HRC Shipping Ltd.,of Bangladesh for the Kolkata-Chittagong route and Transworld Group of Companies for the Kolkata-Haldia-Chennai route. Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) in consortium with other lines has commenced a weekly container service from the Chennai port on the East Coast of India to four ports in North China from June 16, including Dalian, Qingdao, Xingagng and Yantai. En route the ships also cal on Kelang and Pasir Gudang in Malaysia along with Singapore and Hong Kong.

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News on Logistics

Freight subsidy for sugar exports The government has put in place the inland transport subsidy for sugar exports, which is expectedto boost the export trade and help actual volumes exported to touché 1 million tonne by end of the season. As per the scheme, the government will provide reimbursement of the expenses for transporting sugar from mill to port town and another Rs. 1.30 per tonne for taking sugar from port town railway station to actual port. Exporters also have the option to transport sugar by road in which case they will be reimbursed either the rail or road freight whichever is less. A major advantage of the subsidy, which will be funded from Sugar Development Fund (SDF) will be for the mills in land-locked states like Uttar Pradesh and the Punjab which can now enter the export market. According to the latest figures compiled by the DGSCI&S , India’s sugar exports in April-February 2001-02 have been 13.57 lakh tones, up from 2.86 lakh tones in the corresponding period of previous fiscal.

CONCOR to set up domestic cargo terminal near Patna Container Corportion of India (CONCOR) is setting up a domestic cargo terminal at Fatuha, about 20 kilometres from Patna. The new facility to be built over 20 acres of land is estimated to involve an investment of Rs. 5 crore and is the second of its kind to be established in the eastern region. Concor already has a similar domestic cargo facility at Shalimar in Howrah district of West Bengal. While the Fatuha facility will mailnly handle domestic cargo, mainly inbound, the facility could be eventually developed as an Inland Container Depot (ICD) once sufficient international traffic is generated.


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