Week ending April 06, 2003


News on Shipping

GE Shipping acquires a Panamax product carrier :GE Shipping has taken delivery of a 66,183 dwt product carrier BUILT BY Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea in 1986. The Panamax product carrier, "Jag Arpan" is classed with Lloyd's register. The vessel on delivery is slated to enter into a ten-month fixture at a profitable level. GE Shipping owns a fleet of 60 vessels including 29 ships and 31 offshore units. The shipping fleet comprises 19 tankers (three crude, 15 product tankers and one gas carrier) and 10 dry bulk carriers. With the latest acquisition, the company's shipping tonnage has increased to 1.32 million dwt with an average age of 13.6 years. The tanker tonnage with the company now stands at 1 million dwt.

SCI acquires 1.1 lakh litre crude tanker : The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has taken delivery of a 1.1 lakh tonne crude tanker from Hyundai Heavy Industries Company Limited. The vessel - MT Desh Bhakt is the first in a series of four double hull tanker ordered by SCI in June 2000. Built at Hyundai's shipbuilding yard at Ulsan in South Korea, the tanker can carry about 1,30,700 cubic metre at a service speed of 14 knots and can discharge cargo at 7,500 cubic metres per hour. With the acquisition of this vessel, the SCI fleet now stands at 87 vessels aggregating to about 2.55 million grt (corresponding to 4.35 dwt), comprising general cargo vessels, crude oil tankers (including combination carriers), product tankers, bulk carriers, LPG/ammonia carriers, acid carriers, passenger vessels and offshore supply vessels (OSVs). Three more tankers in this series will join the SCI tanker fleet by August.

Two Indian ships stranded in Persian Gulf:Two Indian flagged ships carrying consignments sugar to Persian Gulf have been held up in the wake of US attack on Iraq. One of the two vessels that had been held up had actually begun unloading sugar at Umm Qasar, Iraq when the US and its allies started their attack. The ship, which had unloaded 500 tonnes of its 12,500 tonne sugar it carried was asked to leave the port. Another vessel laden with 12,500 tonnes of sugar for Egypt was also held up. Both the ships are currently anchored off Jordan. Subsequent to the outbreak of hostilities, the shipments to the Gulf region have come to a halt due to increased security threats and increased war-risk premium. Indian exporters or firms do not export directly to Iraq in view of payment problems and shipments are done mostly through third parties based in Dubai.

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News on Ports

Coal handling at ports is hazardous for workers : The major ports have handled 313 million tonnes of cargoes during 2002-2003, while the non-major ports have handled about 100 million tonnes in the same period. According to Mr. M.P. Pinto, secretary, Ministry of Shipping, it is for the first time that the handling capacity of the Indian ports at 344 million tonnes has exceeded the actual requirement. In the previous year, during 2001-2002, the major ports in the country handled 287 million tonnes, which indicates a growth of nine per cent in 2002-2003. By the end of the Tenth Plan, the handling capacity of the major ports is likely to go up to 470 million tonnes, but the projected requirement would only be 415 million tonnes. The government according to Mr. M.P. Pinto, the government would invest Rs. 4,535 crore and the private sector Rs. 11,000 crore on port projects during the tenth plan period.

Last date for approval of Vallarpadam bids likely to be extended : The earlier deadline set by the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) for the approval of the final proposals the Vallarpadam transshipment terminal is likely to be extended by one more month as two of the confirmed bidders have sought more clarifications on the project. This is for the second time that deadline is being extended. Earlier, the port management had extended the deadline from March 31 to April 30. During the pre-proposal meetings held in March, two of the bidders - CSX World Terminals, UK and Maersk A/S, Denmark - had sought clarifications on the likely road and railway connectivity to Vallarpadam.

Iron ore throughput goes up in Eastern ports :There has been a substantial hike in the throughput of iron ore in East Coast ports like Haldia, Paradip and Visakhapatanam during 2002-03. The combined throughput of iron ore handled through these ports stood at 17.6 million tonnes, with Haldia experiencing the maximum growth of 50% at 2.7 million tonnes, Paradip experiencing a growth of 30 per cent at 4.6 million tonnes and Visakhapatnam seeing a 16 per cent growth at 10.3 million tonnes.

CPT to introduce EDI-based vessel management :The Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) is moving towards facilitating paperless transaction for port users and is planning to introduce electronic facility to access all information at the port, including vessel arrival and berthing. The port users could access all such information through the port trust web site, www.chennaiporttrust.com. This is the first major initiative under the electronic data interchange (EDI), which enables users to book gangs (workers), hire equipment and other marine services, which was hitherto dependent on long manual documentation processes and personal requests at the port trust. In the second phase, the port trust will also include electronic payment whereby port users can make all port-related payments online. For this, the port trust plans to have tie-ups with various banks.

Cochin port to discontinue volume discount scheme :The Kochi port has proposed to discontinue the volume discount scheme, with effect from April 1. According to TAMP notification to this effect, this is being done since the scheme was an interim arrangement till general revision of port tariffs was finalized. The port has already made a tariff revision proposal before the TAMP, and the revision is likely to be notified shortly. The announcement of the withdrawal has been made as the port authorities felt that users should be informed well in advance about the withdrawal of the scheme to avoid future claims and related complications. The TAMP has also been accordingly been informed of the decision on discontinuation of the scheme. Meanwhile, a section of the shippers have protested against this move saying that the scheme was an incentive provided to the users to bring more cargo to the port.

Kerala government appoints L&T Ramboll for Vizhinjam project: The Kerala state government has appointed L&T Ramboll as the consultant for the development of Vizhinjam port. The consultant is expected to come out with a feasibility report within 20-24 weeks. In the meantime, tenders will be floated inviting expressions of interest for selecting a project developer, who will join hands with the consultant to implement the project, estimated to cost Rs 2,500 crore. The project proposal envisages a mega transshipment hub with 30 berths, 20 handling containers and remaining berths handling general cargo and petroleum, oil and lubricants. The port will also have a full-fledged bunkering facility, a free trade zone and a passenger berth. The state port department has also received two expressions of interest, one from the Delhi-based Punj Lloyd and the other from Universal Lubricants of Sharjah for the development of Azhikkal, another minor port location to be developed into a multi-purpose cargo port, with berths capable of handling general cargo as also containers. It will also have wharfs, which will cater to ships of up to 5,000 dwt. Other planned infrastructure includes dry cargo handling, ship repairs, oil jetties and terminal facilities for cruise lines at an anticipated cost of Rs. 1,500 crore.

Tuticorin records all-time high cargo throughput in 2002-03 :The Tuticorin port has achieved an all-time high cargo throughput of 13.29 million tonnes (mt) in 2002-03, posting a 2.13 per cent growth over the previous year's 13.02 mt. Of the total cargo handled, exports constituted 3.73 mt, showing a growth of 0.52 mt and imports at 9.56 mt a decline of 0.24 mt. The container throughput at 212,925 TEUs showed a marginal drop of 0.27 per cent over the previous year figure of 213,509 TEUs. Among the items exported through the port were wheat at 6.56 lakh tonnes, ilemenite sand 1.22 lakh tonnes, cement 40,000 tonnes, granite stone 3.43 lakh tonne, sugar 5.14 lakh tonne, containerized cargo 13.75 lakh tonne and rice 48,000 tonnes. Among the items imported through the port include edible oil 90,000 tonnes, pet coke 1.9 lakh tonne, sulphur 1.02 lakh tonne, rock phosphate 5.6 lakh tonne, furnace oil 2.76 lakh tonne, LPG at 68,000 tonnes, copper concentrate at 5.86 lakh tonne and containerized cargo at 9.26 lakh tonne.
There been some drop in import of items such as thermal coal, industrial coal phosphoric acid and fertilizers. Among the export items, only the throughput of salt saw a decline

NMMT records all-time high traffic in 2002-03 :New Mangalore port registered a record throughput of 21.43 million tonnes during 2002-2003, against 17.50 million tonnes last year, registering a growth rate of 22.45 per cent. The port also saw a 26.13 per cent increase over the target of 16.99 million tonnes. Increased throughput is mainly owing to a substantial increase in the handling of POL crude and products for MRPL and POL products for IOC and BPCL. NMPT handled 7.32 mt. of POL crude for MRPL compared to 5.55 mt. last year (an increase of 31.73 per cent). The port also handled 4.41 mt. of POL products for MRPL against 2.75 mt. last year, an increase of 59.93 per cent. Iron ore concentrate and pellets handled by the port was up at 6.13 mt compared to 5.78 mt. last year. LPG and cement traffic however, declined but there was an increase in timber, coal, fertilizers, granite and containerised cargo. The port also witnessed `steady growth' in container traffic at 6,034 TEUs in 2002-03 against 3,929 TEUs last year. Commodities like coffee, reefer cargo, cashew kernels, raw cashew, cashew nut shell liquid, brake drums, leaf springs, dye stuff, cast iron, gherkins, beedis, glazed tiles, electrical insulation material and spices have started moving through containers at the port.

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News on Logistics

Railways asked to expand Haldia-Panskura line capacity: The Haldia dock authorities have asked the railway authorities to augment the existing capacity of the 60-km long Haldia-Panskura railway link. Unless the railways undertake the capacity augmentation measures on this route expeditiously, it would become extremely difficult to cope with the increased volume of traffic as projected for coming years. The capacity constraint on this line is essentially owing to the existing single line network, which at present cannot handle more than 18 pairs of trains a day. Of this 13 pairs are goods trains and balance five are passenger trains. The number of goods trains is to increase substantially in the coming years, as the Haldia dock readies to handle much larger volume of cargo traffic.


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