Government to award Rs 14,500 crore port projects this fiscal
Source : The Economic Times | 18 June, 2012
The government today said it will award projects worth Rs 14,500 crore in the current fiscal to augment major ports' capacity to about 934 million tonnes (MT) per annum.
"A target has been set for the Shipping Ministry for award of projects for creating 244 MT of capacity during 2012-13, spread across 42 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 14,500 crore," an official statement said.
The capacity of major ports by the end of March, 2012 was recorded at 689.83 MTPA, while the capacity including about 200 minor ports under the control of states was at 1,200 MTPA.
"The target also include, obtaining approval of establishing two new major ports -- one in Andhra Pradesh and another in West Bengal," Shipping Minister G K Vasan said while inaugurating a national conclave on Shipping by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations in Chennai.
Vasan said apart from steps to augment ports capacity, the government is revising the comprehensive Land Policy of 2010 aimed at optimal use of land to bring in more transparency.
He added that India's external trade, as a proportion of GDP has more than doubled in the last 10 years and is close to 40 per cent, a bulk of this is carried through shipping.
India at present has 13 major ports including Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Kolkata (with Haldia), Chennai, Visakhapatanam, Cochin, Paradip, New Mangalore, Marmagao, Ennore, Tuticorin and Kandla.
Gujarat Maritime Board to woo investors for ferry service
Source : The Economic Times | 22 May, 2012
Gujarat Maritime Board will woo foreign investors and operators for country's first major ferry service for vehicles, cargo and passengers across the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat. The construction of the terminals is already on and the board is now scouting for companies to operate the service. It is looking at companies from Europe, the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia.
"We are conducting roadshows in Mumbai (June 11) and London (June 28). We will meet the investors from Europe and the US in London, while investors from South East Asia and Australia will participate in Mumbai. We expect to get Expression of Interest from close to 40 investors. Construction of terminals at Ghogha (Saurashtra) and Dahej (south Gujarat) is likely to be completed in about 18 months. By that time we want to finalise the operators so that they can buy ferries and the service can be rolled out on time," GMB vice chairman Pankajkumar told ET.
London-based consultant Beckett Rankine's India head Siddharth Shah said this is first of its kind of project in India so care is being taken at each stage. "We are also exploring the possibilities of a joint venture between Indian companies in the port and shipping sector as well as foreign companies with first hand experience in operating ferry service. We will be approching Essar Shipping, GVK, Adani group, Tatas and a few others for the operations.
A similar workshop was conducted last year but the companies were found wanting in terms of capacity," he told ET. As a part of the Roll On Roll Off (RO-RO) service, terminals are being constructed at Dahej in south Gujarat and Ghogha in Bhavnagar of Saurashtra. Infrastructure company Essar Projects began the work about two months ago.
According to a study by Beckett Rankine, 1059 cars, 777 buses, 367 light commercial vehicles, 2018 trucks and 444 multi-axle vehicles plied daily between south Gujarat and Saurashtra in November 2008. This could be tapped for RO-RO service. The time for the journey will be reduced from over 7 hours to one and a half hours and the distance can be reduced by about 300 kms.
The project is taken up on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, modelled along the air traffic. The terminals will be handed over to and managed by Gujarat Maritime Board, while the ferry services will be provided by private operators. GMB has identified four routes for to-and-fro ferry service. In the first phase Gogha in Bhavnagar will be connected with Dahej in Bharuch with an estimated investment of Rs 296 crore. In subsequent phases, it will connect Mundra (Kutch), Okha, Porbandar, Pipavav (all Saurashtra), Hazira-Suvali (south Gujarat) and Mumbai.
Similar ferry service is operational in Dover (England) to Calais (France) across the. About 8-10 ferries are operated daily. Other places where such a service is operational include Baltic Sea, Mediterranean sea, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia. All these countries have lot of ferry operators.
Gujarat's first marine institute to start from August
Source : Times of India | 11 May, 2012
Gujarat's maiden Maritime Training Institute, supported by the state's port regulator Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB), will become operational from August this year, a top official said on Saturday.
"The first batch of 40 students will be joining the institute in August this year. The institute has been created with a view to meet the requirement of marine engineers", GMB chief nautical officer S C Mathur said.
A marine engineer is in-charge of operations and maintenance of all machinery on board merchant ships.
The institute, which is set up in collaboration with U V Patel Engineering College in north Gujarat, a constituent of Ganpat University, is backed by the Gujarat government which had signed an MoU for the purpose in 2007. "It was a long-felt need that an institution to offer a B.Tech degree, leading to a career as an officer in Merchant Navy, should be established in the state, which has the longest coastline of 1,600 km", Mathur said.
"We are tying up with shipping companies like Adani, Essar, Ocean Sparkle, Shahi among others so that students can get on-board sea-time training in the fourth year of their course, a pre-requisite for securing a degree", he said. The main objective behind setting up this institute was to check outflow of local lads to other states, and train them here itself, Mathur said.
The mandatory clearances required to establish and run the institute from DG Shipping, and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) have been secured, he said. Gujarat Maritime Board also plans to start offering a B.Sc level course in nautical sciences, for which it has signed an understanding with Chajjumal Trust of Vadodara, and expects the college to come up in next one year.
Lack of integrated policy, cheap funds are key problems for coastal shipping: Deloitte Paper
Source : The Economic Times | 15 May, 2012
Traffic handled at major Ports in the country fell by 6.3% in April, the first month of the financial year, according to the latest figures issued by the Indian Ports association.
Container Traffic at the major ports, meanwhile declined by 2.4% in the same period. Kolkata port was the worst performer in the month, as cargo handled at the port fell by more than 22%, followed by Paradip Port.
Ennore Port, the only corporatised port in the country saw its traffic surge by 29% in April followed by New Mangalore Port and Mumbai Port which grew by 19.10% and 16.41% respectively.
Analysts said that minor ports in the country have been witnessing a double-digit growth in recent times, while major ports could only grow by a meagre 0.38% in April- December period last year. India currently has 187 minor ports and 13 major ports. Adani Ports, the country's largest private port meanwhile saw its cargo rise by as much as 24% in 2011-12, making it the fourth largest commercial port in the country.
Ports lured Maruti to Gujarat
Source : Times of India | 3 June, 2012
India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. on Saturday signed an agreement with Gujarat government to set up a car plant at Hansalpur in Ahmedabad.
"Good infrastructure and high quality work force available in Gujarat were key factors. But, our decision to come to Gujarat was largely due to ports in the state. The port at Mundra is conveniently close to our new plant," said Shinzo Nakanishi, managing director and CEO, MSIL, who signed the land purchase agreement in Gandhinagar.
The state government has allocated 700 acres of land to MSIL, which will invest Rs 4,000 crore in the first phase to set up a combined vehicle manufacturing plant with an initial annual capacity of 2.5 lakh units. MSIL said the plant is expected to be commissioned by 2015-16.
However, the final decision will be taken after company board's approval in a June-end meeting.
"Once known as home to pharma and chemical industries, Gujarat has fast emerged India's engineering and auto hub. Soon, more companies will come to the state," said chief minister Narendra Modi on the occasion.
Coast Guard commissions hovercraft at Okha
Source : Times of India | 12 June, 2012
Griffon 8000TD, a hovercraft of UK make, having a top speed of 50 knots and armed with a remote operated machine gun, was commissioned as ICG ACV H-187 at Okha on Monday by Indian Coast Guard director general vice admiral M P Muralidharan.
The 30-tonne air cushion vehicle shall be deployed in shallow waters and inter-tidal zones along the coastline and would mostly be used for patrolling the Gulf of Kutch. Commanded by Anurag Kaushik with a manpower complement of 11 sailors, the vessel can undertake effective assault operations and immobilize the enemy with its surprise element - speed. The Okha station of the Indian Coast Guard at present has two interceptors, ship Mirabehn, the workhorse for the maritime force, and three hovercrafts, including the recently commissioned one.
Two more hovercrafts will be joining the Okha station. ACV H-187 is the seventh hovercraft and first in the class of 12 hovercrafts to be supplied by UK-based Griffon Hoverwork Ltd, a pioneer in the machine, which was conceived 40 years ago.
Speaking on the occasion, Muralidharan said new Coast Guard stations are being set up, surface and air assets are being acquired, proportionate infrastructure is being developed and trained manpower is being augmented to protect the nation from threats emanating from the sea. Among those present was commander, Coast Guard region (north west) deputy inspector general B S Yadav, a release said.
India's Container Volume Down 1.71 Percent
Source : The Journal of Commerce | 22 June, 2012
Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), the country's top container port, handled 731,000 TEUs.
The volume of containers handled by major ports in India fell 1.71 percent year-over-year in the first two months of fiscal 2012-13, the Indian Ports Association said in a statement on Monday. Total box traffic during April to May was estimated at 1.29 million 20-foot-equivalent units, compared with 1.32 million tons a year earlier. The tonnage of containerized volume grew 2.26 percent to 20.32 million tons from 19.9 million tons.
Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), the country’s top container port, handled 731,000 TEUs, down about 1 percent from 740,000 TEUs in the same period last year. Traffic via Chennai Port dropped 4 percent to 263,000 TEUs from 273,000 TEUs. Kolkata handled 97,000 TEUs, up from 91,000 TEUs. Tuticorin moved 72,000 TEUs, down from 80,000 TEUs. Cochin’s traffic decreased to 45,000 TEUs from 56,000 TEUs.
The IPA said overall cargo tonnage at major ports during April to May fell 5.7 percent to 94 million tons from 99.7 million tons a year earlier. Kandla emerged as the top cargo handler with throughput of 13.7 million tons, followed by Nehru, at 11.3 million tons; Mumbai, at 10.8 million tons; Visakhapatnam, at 10 million tons; and Chennai, at 8.7 million tons.
For fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31, India’s ocean trade via major ports was estimated at 560 million tons, down 1.73 percent from 570 million tons the previous year. Container traffic rose 3 percent to 7.77 million TEUs from 7.54 million TEUs. Meanwhile, the Indian Commerce Ministry announced a “seven-point export strategy” aimed at boosting the country’s outbound trade volume to $360 billion in 2012-13 and to $500 billion by 2013-14.
"We will watch global economic developments closely and shall intervene effectively to ensure that Indian exports stay well on course for achieving the targets," Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said.
India's exports grew 21 percent year-over-year in 2011-12 to $303.7 billion, but the pace of expansion slowed to 3.2 percent in April in the face of demand depression in major global markets.