Week ending November 30, 2002


News on Shipping

International Maritime Conference & Exhibition in Mumbai An international maritime conference and exhibition is being organized in Mumbai from December 8 to 10 by the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCC&I) and Assocham, with the support of the Union Ministry of Shipping. The event forms the third biennial international maritime conference to be organized by BCC&I and has the backing of of The Baltic & International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the Indian Port Association and the International Association of Ports & Harbours (IAPH).

IIMS to be converted into a maritime university The proposed Indian Institute of Maritime Studies (IIMS) to be based in Mumbai will be eventually converted into a maritime university and the new entity will become the umbrella body for all other maritime training institutions in the country. The IIMS has already taken over the Maritime Training Institute (MTI), which was hitherto managed by Shipping Corporation of India (SCI). Four other government maritime institutions in the country, viz. Lal Bhahadur Shashtri College of Advanced Maritime Studies and Research, Mumbai, TS Chanakya, Navi Mumbai, Maritime Engineering and Research Institute, Kolkata, which are currently administered by the Directorate General of Shipping, are likely to be eventually placed under the proposed maritime university.

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News on Ports

KSPL to set complete first phase of the Kakinada project The Kakinada Sea Ports Ltd. (KSPL), the promoter of the Kakinada deep water port is expected to complete the first phase of its development in next 15 months, as per the schedule agreed with the Andhra Pradesh state government. The state government, which recently reviewed the progress of the project has stated that project will achieve "financial closure" in next two months. The Kakinada port was developed by the state government on a total outlay of about Rs.293 crore, which included Rs. 242 crore loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The master plan for the port envisages creation of 15 berths, involving an investment of about Rs.1, 500 crores.

Petronet & Shell to go ahead with LNG terminal projects Apprehensions of poor future demand for LNG, in view of recent gas strikes in the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh, two of the LNG terminal project developers - Petronet LNG and Shell Gas have decided to go ahead with their LNG terminal projects at Dahej and Hazira. The government too has decided to extend extra support to make these projects viable, by deciding to press for infrastructure status and major fiscal breaks both at the state and Central level to get commercial rates. The Ministry of Petroleum is also reportedly negotiating with the government of Qatar for lowering the price of contracted supplies of LNG.

SEZ approved for KochiThe government has approved the proposal for setting up of a port-based Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at the Vallarpadam and Puthuvypeen area, under the Cochin Port Trust (CPT). The proposal for setting up of the SEZ is based on the considerations of generating cargo support the new port facilities with a steady flow of traffic from the immediate hinterland region.

Four international port operators in race for Vallarpadam project Three international port operators and two domestic majors are in the race for the Rs.2,000 crore Vallarpadam Container Transshipment Terminal project in Kochi. Three international parties in the race include: CSX World Terminals (UK), NYK (Japan), Port of Singapore Authority besides two domestic players - Maersk India and Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which have submitted "requests for qualification (RFQ) as deadline for pre-qualification bids ended on November 26 2002. P&O Ports (Australia), the sole bidder for the Vallarpadam project, when it was floated a year ago has not participated in the second round. The hub terminal is being built on a BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis. The Ministry of Shipping had earlier cancelled the earlier bid by P&O Ports and ordered fresh tenders.

US Port workers sign six-year deal with their employers The US West coast long-shoremen and port employers have signed a six-year deal, bringing to an end their dispute that resulted in 10-day shut down of docks. The deal includes a consensus reached on go ahead for the employers to introduce labour-saving technology on the docks, while the workers got wage and pension increases. One of the key aspect of the agreement was a deal on new technology, such as computerized cargo handling machinery that employers insisted was vital make the ports more efficient.

Major ports add 124.40 mtpa capacity during 9th Plan Major ports have created an aggregated additional capacity of 124.40 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) ion the Ninth plan period by way of construction of additional berths and terminals, expansion /extension of existing berths, upgradation of cargo handling equipment and floating crafts through replacements and fresh acquisitions. The Minister of State for Shipping, Mr. S. Thirunavukkarasar, gave this information to the Parliament. The modernization projects undertaken during the period under review included the completion and operationalisation of two major projects, viz. construction of a new port at Ennore and creation of mechanized coal handling at Paradip port, involving a total capacity addition of 32 million tonnes per annum.

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News on Logistics

Railway freight earns Rs.2,262 crore in October '02 The transportation of coal contributed 43 per cent of revenue at Rs. 986.98 crore towards the railways total freight traffic of Rs. 2262.42 crore in October, 2002. Foodgrains contributed Rs. 283.99 crore, cement Rs. 160.79 crore, fertilizer Rs. 134.50 crore, iron & steel Rs.105. 5 crore, raw material Rs 95 14 crore and iron ore Rs.50.60 crore during the month under review.

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