Week ending May 14, 2002


News on Ports

Mumbai Port invites bid for container terminal product Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), one of country’s oldest ports has invited bids from private parties for submitting bids for building and operating a container terminal. The terminal is expected to be built at a cost of Rs. 1,000 crore in about next three years.. The project is being taken up on 30-year “build-operate-transfer” (BOT) basis. The terminal is expected to boost the port’s container handling capacity to about one million TEUs from 600,000 TEUs at present. The container terminal project is expected to help reverse the trend of declining container traffic at Mumbai port. The port has handled 254,725 TEUs of containers in 2000-01, a substantial decline compared to 321,439 TEUs handled in the previous year

Ennore Port to go ahead with dredging for VLCC-class berths The board of director of Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) has decided to go ahead with the proposal to put up berths for handling very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and iron ore. EPL will undertake only dredging while the berths will be constructed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. The dredging project is expected to entail an investment of Rs.300 crore and will deepen the available draft from present 16 metres to 26.5 metres. EPL is exploring several options to undertake the project including handing over the BOT option, whereby the EPL could pay a levy to dredging company similar to toll levied on roads based on tonnage carried. The berth for handling VLCC is expected to be mainly used by Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (CPCL), which is currently bringing in crude oil by Suezmax tankers at Chennai port from crude is transported to refinery at Manali using pipelines.

KPT to build coal berth under BOT at Haldia dock Kolkata Port Trust (KPT) has entered into an agreement with International Seaports (India) Private Limited (ISPL) for building a berth at Haldia dock on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis. The berth which would have a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes annually is expected to be completed in about two years and would handle mainly coking coal. ISPL will also building mechanized handling facility, which would feature conveyor system and two each of unloading cranes, reclaimers and mechanized wagon loaders. ISPL has also signed an agreement with Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to use the proposed berth on an exclusive basis. SAIL exports around two lakh tonnes of steel goods annually through Haldia and imports nearly three million tonnes of coking coal, which is about 45 per cent of its total coking coal requirements. The coal imported through Haldia is dispatched to SAIL’s steel plants located in Durgapur, Bokaro and Rourkela.

NEERI to study Sethusamudram ship canal project The Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), has bagged the contract to prepare the techno-economic feasibility report on the Sethusamudram ship canal project. The study will be completed in about one year. Earlier, in its environmental examination, NEERI had indicated that the project was environmentally safe.

Singapore announces support program for its port The Singapore government has announced a S$ 80 million in support funds for the Singapore port, in a bid to curtail growing erosion of customer base to rival Malaysian port of Tanjung Pelepas. About S$ 30 million out of the government’s support fund would be used to extend 20 per cent concession on port fees until 2004, while another S$ 50 would be used for training workers. The government is also looking for new ways to retain customers for the long term by offering dedicated terminals to shippers and offering them stakes in PSA. Singapore port, which is the second busiest container port, charges 30-40 per cent higher on its services, compared to Tanjung Pelepas.

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News on Shipping

Chowgule Steamships to invest in its overseas arm Chowgule Steamships Ltd. has reportedly decided to invest up to $ 3 million in Chowgule Steamships Overseas, Guernsey, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. The company board, which met recently has also decided to entrust technical and crew management of all its Panamax vessels and crew management to the ASP Ship management (India).

IOC proposes joint shipping of crude through VLCCs on East Coast Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has reportedly made a proposal to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) for joint shipping of crude oil for the East coast refineries at Haldia, Barauni, Chennai and Viskapatanam. The crude is currently sources separately through Suez Max tankers by the two companies, which the IOC has now proposed could be handled using very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which can carry over 250,000 tonne compared to 150,000 tonne capacity of Suez Max vessels. The deployment of VLCC vessels would substantially bring down the cost as they can handle more crude oil per voyage. The four oil refineries on the East coast jointly consume about 25 million tonnes of crude per annum. The current requirement is reckoned at about one VLCC per month from Nigeria and Abu Dhabi and about two VLCCs from Saudi Arabia. Since the dismantling of the administered price mechanism (APM), the ICO has ceased to be the canalizing agent for crude oil and oil companies like BPCL and HPCL have started sourcing their crude oil requirements mostly on term contracts from producers in the Arabian Gulf.

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News on Shipyards

International shipyards offer to build VLCCs for SCI Several international shipyards including Hyundai, Samho, Daewoo, Samsung, Mitsubishi and Nantong-Cosco yards have reportedly submitted offers to Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) for building two new very large crude carriers (VLCCs) of 300,000 dwt each. The Union government has asked SCI to put on hold all its major commercial investment decisions until the ongoing disinvestment process is completed. However, the SCI board at its April 30 meeting has referred its acquisition plan to the Ministry of Shipping (MoS) stating that it was not seeking any budgetary support from the government for its acquisition plan and that same would be funded by its own resources.

Two new passenger-cum-cargo vessels built for Andamans Goodwill Engineering Works, a division of SICAL has built two passenger-cum-cargo vessels mv Onge and mv Pilomillow at the Pondicherry Port, with a capacity to carry 75 passengers, 14 crew members and 50 tonne of cargo and maximum speed of 15.2 knots an hour. A third ship mv Katchal, also meant for Andamans, would be ready for delivery by mid-June. The three ships are part of a fleet of 18 ships for which tenders were called for by the Andaman Nicobar administration. The vessels being built have the latest equipment, radar and global positioning system (GPS) and cost about Rs. 7 crore each. The company is also currently building two tugs for the Chennai Port Trust and one VIP-cum pilot launch for the Tuticorin Port Trust. The company is also working on plans to set up a floating dock of 500tonne capacity for docking and repairing ships.

News on Inland Waterways

IWT plans to promote cruise shipping in inland and coastal waters Inland Waterway Authority of India (IWAI) is planning to promote cruises on India’s rivers in collaboration with maritime boards of various States. The plan seeks to develop the tourism potential of Kochi and Andaman and Nicobar Islands as international cruise destinations, besides adding on new cruise destinations in the North East states, Kerala, Maharashtra and Konkan coast. The proposed plan for cruises would also cover major inland waterways, especially the Ganges and Brahmaputra. The planned cruises would cover destinations like Bodhgaya, Varanasi, Delhi, Allahabad, Calcutta, Puri, Chennai and Rameshwaram.

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