JNPT is issuing Non- Convertible Debenture (NCD) of Rs. 468 crores to prepay World Bank loan under a capital restructuring plan approved by the government which plans to convert JNPT’s balance sheet liability of 727 crores into a non- plan government loan at the prevailing market rate of interest. The proposed NCD will be in the form of one long-term debenture of 225 crores and rest is in the form of two short-term debentures. Both forms of NCD have got high safety rating from CARE.
The Visakapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has asked railways to increase the railways terminal handling charges from current rates of Rs 12.40 per tonne for general and Rs. 9.60 for iron ore traffic. Railways terminal handling charges are the charges paid by the Railways for the rail- borne traffic handled by the port railway of each individual port.
On request from Hyundai, Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) is considering of setting up a car terminal including a clean and pure car terminal like one at Ulsam. Currently accumulation of coal dust on cars meant for export in a major problem for Hyundai and the request to ChPT is meant to ensure safe and secure export of cars.
International Maritime Organization (IMO) is putting effort for making sea a dependable and safe mode of global transport. Currently there are 46,000 cargo ships in the world and majority of ships adhere to norms and regulations proposed by IMO, this has led to reduction in number of accidents and the amount of oil spilled into the world ocean. As per IMO presentation in a seminar in Kochi for celebrating World Maritime Day 2003, IMO is focusing more on implementation along with improving management and training as more accidents occur due to poor enforcement of regulations rather than shortcomings of regulations. India was lauded in the seminar for providing the world’s best – quality and skilled seafarers.
Paradip port is in the process of inviting bids from both national and international players for construction of the iron ore berth having draft of 16.9 meters estimated to cost Rs 370 crores and second berth for handling clean cargo with a draft of 12.5 meters with a supposed cost of around 70 to 80 crores. Meanwhile as per reports Paradip Port Trust (PPT) registered a 10% growth in traffic at 12.4 million tones between April- September 2003 compared to 11.52 mt in the same period last year.
The All India Port and Dock Workers’ Federation has accused TAMP of worsening the economic health of major ports instead of improving them. According to Federation TAMP’s order of calculation of berths charges on hourly basis instead of the existing eight hour rates would reduce the revenue of the ports. Federation has also urged GOI to frame a policy for management of major ports in India.
Container Corporation of India, a PSU is planning to set up a nation wide network of 14 cold chain complexes to cater to the needs of quality fruits and vegetables in the international and domestic market. In the first phase Concor will set up complexes in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. This move is to tap the opportunities available in the fruit and vegetables market, as India is the second largest producer of these items in the world nearly accounting for 16% of total world output.
As per Clarksons’ Research Studies dry bulk freight rates soared to record levels due to demand of iron ore and coal from China. According to shipping sources a capesize ship not older than 10 years old was quoting at 100,000 USD a day in the third week of October 2003 as compared to 15,000 USD per day a years ago, while a panamax vessel was quoting in the range of 35- 40,000 USD a day compared to 9-10,000 USD per day an year back. This has led to record increase in shipping freight indices as Clarksons’ capesize dry cargo index rose from 2037 in January 2003 to 6671 in October 2003, while the Baltic panamax index moved from 1496 to 3956 between the same period.
The recent strike of workers over demand of Deepawali bonus at JNPT container terminal and another one at Nhava Sheva has badly affected the day to day working of JNPT, India’s premier container port. This strike has left 8000 TEUs stranded at port’s CFS, paralyzing its day-to-day operations. According to port officials this will damage the port’s reputation and would lead shippers to look for alternatives.
Singapore Port authorities have barred ships inadequately protected against terrorism calling on its ports starting July 2004.