Vallarpadam Container Transport Project to be re-drafted

The Cochin Port Trust(CPT) has come out with a release stating that the project will take off by March 31,2004. To achieve that goal it will work in association with the union governement and redraw the project to make it more investor-friendly. Also, the prospect of entering into a government-to-government with other countries will be explored.

Maritime defense to be enhanced in Asian countries

Maritime defense spending will see a hike in India, South Korea, China and some other countries are increasing their defense on water, as there is a higher element of risk through pirates, insurgency across the Asian belt. Defense Export Services Organisation (DESO) of Britain has backed this analyst and is likely to be a beneficiary since it facilitates British defense equipment.

Sagar Mala to be presented to the Prime Minister

In a bid to seek more support the Shipping Minister, Mr.Shatrughan Sinha, is now seeking to make a presentation to the prime minister before a cabinet note on the project is made. The Rs 1,00,000crore project has been designed to get 85% funding from private players and envisages setting up various facilities and entails the set up development authorities in the lines of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

CIDCO receives proposal for Navi Mumbai SEZ

The Nikhil Advani-promoted Sea King Infrastrucure and its partners-Videocon, hiranandanis and Avinash Bhosale, have submitted their business plan for Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone to City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO). Anik-Tata Housing-Gammon consortium is also a bidder for the project. The SEZ will be a duty free enclave that will operate as a foreign territory for trade operations. A ten-year corporate holiday and license-free import are prominent features of the SEZ.

Kandla Port adds extra berth facility

An eleventh berth has been added to the already existing ten berths at Kandla Port. The Rs 36 crore Port would now be able to handle Panamax vessels. The Kandla Port Trust is yet to fill up the back-up area behind the new berth.

Pipavav Port to consider IPO and other means to expand

Pipavav Port, a Sea King Infrastructure company, is considering the equity route to fund its new container terminal. The other option that it has is that of allowing Maersk-Sealand to increase its stake from 12.5% to upto 26%. It is to be noted that so far the holding company, Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd (GPPL) has been an unlisted entity. The container terminal that is being proposed will have a freight station on 18 hectares equipped with four warehouses for cargos.

JNPT kickstarts the planning process for a $1-bn project

JNPT has asked Central Water Power Research Station (CWPRS), Pune, to conduct mathematical and physical model studies for an envisaged integrated port project at Nhava Sheva. It will integrate the fourth container terminal, a marine chemical terminal, back-up yards and rail/road facilities. It is expected to be as big as the existing Jawaharlal Nehru Port and it will be functional in a phased manner from 2007-2008.

Union Shipping Ministry eases tariff norms even further

The union shipping ministry has further eased the tariff norms at the major ports so as to allow them to be on a level-playing field with the private ports. Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has issued a Gazette that allows the ports a larger say on imposition of tariffs subject to certain prescribed ceilings. This will allow the ports to offer competitive rates and a reduced burden to the users.

Tensions in North East affecting cargo delivery

Owing to rising tensions in Assam transporters are only reluctantly accepting the cargoes for those regions. Vigil has been set up in West Bengal so as to protect themselves from the violence in neighboring states. The transport companies are only accepting cargoes till Siliguri and trade links are being hit in the North East region.

Hong Kong conglomerate aims for New York container terminal

Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. is one of the nine operators to have expressed an interest in taking over the development of a container terminal at New York. The project will only be awarded by May 2004. It is likely to be seen as an interesting development for the Asian countries.

Maersk-Concor bid for the JNPT terminal faces monopoly charges

The competitors for the third terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) are arguing that a monopoly clause should be added to the bid for proposal. Maersk, runs the largest container lines and Concor, has a monopoly over the movement of container trains to and from port and this will mean that Concor would give preference to Maersk containers and also since Maersk would have the leeway to give preference to its own containers at the port. Rivals of Maersk will also be forced to part with information about their clients to Maersk in the transaction.

Concern over unemployment of cadets

Though DG-Shipping has been generous in awarding maritime institute certificates it has now created a situation where the pass outs of these institutes remain jobless and their degrees remain of now avail. Thousands of seafarers are already without a job and corruption has crept in the system with bribery for admissions, institute affiliation and jobs becoming the order of the day.

TAMP allows TPT to waive package marine charges

Tariff Authority for Major Ports ( TAMP), which had made it mandatory for individual and consortium lines to have atleast a five-year standing to be eligible for marine package charges, has allowed Tuticorin Port Trust to relaxing the norm. The waiver is expected to increase container traffic and make it more attractive a destination for mainline container vessels calling at the box terminal of the PSA-SICAL.

Consulting firm wants tariff issues out of maritime authority control

KPMG, appointed by DG Shipping to study the formation of Maritime Authority of India, has suggested that the Tariff Authority for Major Ports should not be clubbed into the proposed merger of Directorate General (DG) of Shipping, Directorate General of light houses and light ships and TAMP. The KPMG report argued that tariff regulations were internationally separated from maritime authorities as it dilutes the focus. Also, a separate body is needed to settle commercial disputes.




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