Week ending January 07, 2003


News on Shipping

ISC planning to acquire new Aframax tanker India Steamship Company (ISC), is reportedly considering purchase of an Aframax crude tanker, in the range of 80,000 and 1,20,000 dwt. The proposed acquisition, to be finalized soon will be through purchase of a second-hand vessel and is likely to be financed through funds generated from sale of its vessels recently. The company recently sold `Ratna Deep', a Panamax bulk carrier for Rs 15 crore. With the proposed acquisition, the tanker strength of ISS fleet will rise to two. `Ratna Abha', the 61,000-dwt crude tanker currently deployed in transportation of crude between Malaysia and India, is expected to continue operations till 2007. The company's earlier plan to acquire phosphoric acid and ammonia carriers has been put on hold. The company was in news last year for its proposal to acquire on charter hire five specialized carriers - one gas carrier and four chemicals carriers - in addition to outright purchase of one second-hand LPG-ammonia carrier as part of the company's expansion plan. The gas carrier was to be used for transporting ammonia and the chemicals carrier for phosphoric acid for two of the group's fertilizer companies, namely, Paradip Phosphates l in Orissa and Zuari Industries in Goa.

A new consortium in the making UK/Europe sector The member lines of the Indian Sub-continent Europe Services (ISES) comprising the Shipping Corporation of India, Zim, YML, Evergreen, MISC and K Line,) Consortium serving the trade route between the Indian sub-continent and the UK/Europe will soon have competition from a new consortium being planned for the same trade. Three members of the Europe, Pakistan, India Consortium (EPIC), CMA/CGM, Contship and P&O Nedloyd, which currently operate container services between the Indian sub-continent, West Asia and Europe, have indicated that they would resign from the membership of EPIC and would form a new consortium to be called EPIC 3. Two other members of EPIC - Safmarine and Ellerman, are to side with Maersk, which presently serves the India-Europe trade on its own. Safmarine is already a part of Maersk while Ellerman, has become part of Hamburg Sud. Within EPIC 3, the new consortium, the three lines will maintain current service levels with a seven-ship fleet comprising five ships _ Contship and CMA/CGM and two from P&O Nedloyd.

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News on Ports

P&O Ports challenges JNPT bar on bidding for the second terminal P&O Ports, the private container terminal operator at the Jawaharlal Nehru port, has challenged the decision of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to bar the company from bidding for a second proposed container terminal. P&O has filed a writ petition against the JNPT's decision in the Mumbai High Court, hearings of which is currently in progress. JNPT had recently floated tenders for setting up a three-berth container terminal by converting its existing bulk berths. The terminal to be built on BOT basis and is estimated to cost Rs 900 crore. The board of JNPT had decided not to allow P&O to bid for the new terminal on the ground that the same company is already operating a terminal at the port. P&O has reportedly challenged the decision on the ground that it is has been denied the right to equality. JNPT decided to bar P&O from bidding for a second terminal mainly to avoid monopoly in the port sector and to create a healthy intra-port competition. Besides the Nhava Sheva terminal, the P&O already operates a terminal at Chennai and together it currently handles over 40 per cent of the container traffic in the country.

JNPT gets two new super post-Panamax cranes The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has installed two new super post panamax rail-mounted quay cranes in an effort to modernize and increase the facilities at its container terminal. The installation of the new cranes will augment and modernize the facilities available at the JNPT's container terminal in tune with the Government's endeavour to transform major ports into profit centres. The new cranes were procured from Doosan Heavy Industry and Construction Company Ltd, Korea, at a cost of Rs 43.5 crore. Miller International, Singapore, installed the cranes while Lloyd's Register of Shipping carried out the inspection.

Ennore's gain may be Chennai's loss The Chennai Port Trust (CPT), is expecting its overall earnings and profitability to be lower this year because the cargo handled by it will not be as much as last year. During this fiscal year, the entire coal traffic handled so far by Chennai is likely to shift to Ennore port and the loss of this traffic is unlikely to be covered up by gains in other traffic at the port. About 9 million tonnes of coal (that arrive in Chennai for the thermal power plants) is likely to shift to the newly built Ennore port. The fresh business that the Chennai port could generate this year may not fully make up for the lost coal cargo. In the current year, the Chennai port expects to handle 33 million tonnes (mt) of cargo as against 36 mt last year. The port has a capacity to handle 38 mt.

Kakinada anchorage port records improved traffic Kakinada anchorage port has performed well during the past nine months and the traffic handled currently stands at two million tonnes of cargoes and if the trend is sustained the the port may well handle record 2.4 million tonnes by the end of the financial year. The port has handled 13 lakh tonnes of rice so far this year out of the two million tonnes and this was largely due to the reduced the issue price by Centre to promote rice exports.

Vizag to scrap throughput clause for land leases The Visakhapatnam port has proposed to do away with the minimum guaranteed throughput (MGT) clause in the existing cases of land leases, with the lessees failing to meet this condition owing to a downslide in the movement of their respective cargoes. The port currently has eight lessees including: East India Petroleum, Rain Calcining Ltd, Tinna Oils & Chemicals Ltd, Ripley & Co, Tinns Shipping & Warehousing Ltd, Bothra Shipping and Prathyusha Stevecon Ltd, who have taken about 145 acres of port lands on lease for a period of 30 years since 1990. The port has now proposed to scrap the MGT clause, in accordance with recent guidelines issued by the Ministry of Shipping.

Mr. Tripathy takes over as Dy. Chairman of Paradip Port Mr. Subrat Tripathy, a cadre of Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS), has joined as the Deputy Chairman of Paradip Port Trust. Prior to joining PPT, Mr. Tripathy was senior divisional operations manager of South Eastern Railway.

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