Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gulftainer acquires majority of Gulf Stevedoring to manage Jeddah and Jubail Ports in Saudi Arabia

Gulftainer, the port management and Logistics Company headquartered in Sharjah, UAE, on June 23 announced that it has acquired a 51 % stake in Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Stevedoring Contracting Company (GSCCO), allowing it to assume the full management of three Saudi terminals, located in Jeddah and Jubail.
According to a media statement, the acquisition makes Gulftainer the largest port operator in the Middle East with regard to the number of terminals operated in the region, with the company managing 40 % of all the major container terminal facilities in the Middle East that have the capacity to handle ships of 12,000 TEU or greater in size, and 45 % of all major port capacity outside of the Strait of Hormuz.
At the Jeddah Islamic Port, Gulftainer will operate the Northern Container Terminal (NCT) on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, Jubail Commercial Port (JCP) and Jubail Industrial Port (JIP) on the east coast.
Both Jeddah and Jubail are key growth areas in the country with strong, positive economic forecasts, following massive government investments in infrastructure.
Jubail in particular is seen as critical to economic development within the Kingdom, and the government has recently invested SAR 800 million (USD 215 million) in its two facilities to increase its capacity and cope with the growing flow of cargo. In recent years, the government has also confirmed investments in excess of SAR480 billion (USD 129 billion) in energy and infrastructure projects in the surrounding region, which in turn is expected to spur massively increasing terminal activity.
Commenting on the development, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Chairman of Gulf Stevedoring Company, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Gulftainer and look forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship in the coming years. These three ports will be expanding significantly and the expertise that Gulftainer brings with it to Gulf Stevedoring and Contracting Company will be invaluable.”
Speaking on the acquisition, Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and Vice-Chairman of the Gulftainer Group, said, “Saudi Arabia’s growth makes it an extremely fast-paced, exciting market and I am confident that Gulftainer’s proven track record in this sector will further serve and support the evolution and development of the port and logistics sector in the Kingdom in the coming years. We are honoured to partner with Gulf Stevedoring, and together we can offer a uniquely private-sector and genuinely objective approach towards port management and logistics in the country.”
Mr Peter Richards, Group Managing Director, Gulftainer said, “This is an exciting time for Gulftainer as we increase our footprint across the Middle East. The industry here is growing at a rapid pace and with this acquisition we have laid a strong foundation for the company’s future not just regionally but on a global level.”
Gulftainer was established in Sharjah, UAE, in 1976, and is a subsidiary of Crescent Enterprises which is a UAE-based conglomerate operating globally across multiple sectors including Power and Engineering, Aviation, Healthcare, and Private Equity.
Gulftainer launched the first dedicated container terminal in the UAE’s Port Khaled in Sharjah. Gulftainer has grown significantly, regionally and internationally, and now has established ports and logistics operations across the UAE, Iraq, Russia, Lebanon and Brazil, as well as joint ventures in Turkey and Pakistan, and also operates international freight forwarding and project logistics.

Day of the Seafarer 2013: Faces of the Sea

 Source: www.imo.org

June 25th marks the third international Day of the Seafarer, an official United Nations observance day. 
This year, IMO is celebrating the occasion with a social media campaign calling on all supply chain partners, including those beyond the maritime sector, to help highlight the sheer diversity and scale of products used in everyday life that travel by sea, and to recognize the importance of the people that deliver them; more than 1.5 million seafarers. 

In his annual Day of the Seafarer message, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said, “Seafarers operate on the ‘front line’ of the shipping industry, and this year’s campaign theme, Faces of the Sea, aims to highlight the individuals that are often unseen, but who work to deliver more than 90% of the world’s goods. We will ask the seafarers themselves to show us snapshots of their daily life at sea, to give them a voice and share their story on a global stage, via social media”.

Mr. Sekimizu noted that 2013 is a landmark year for the seafaring community, as the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) enters into force in August. “This marks significant progress in the recognition of seafarers’ roles and the need to safeguard their well-being and working conditions,” he said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also highlighted the Day of the Seafarer, with a special message urging everyone to remember the contribution of seafarers to world trade and development.

“On the Day of the Seafarer, I urge everyone to spare a thought for those courageous seafarers, men and women from all corners of the world, who face danger and tough working conditions to operate today’s complex, highly technical ships, every hour of every day of the year – and on whom we all depend,” he said. 

Day of the Seafarer campaign
Faces of the Sea is an innovative campaign that harnesses the power of social media to raise awareness of seafarers and their unique role. Everyone can join the campaign online. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

India’s deepest port from God’s Own Country

Source: http://www.sagarsandesh.com/news/indias-deepest-port-from-gods-own-country/

-Public hearing for the Rs. 4,010-crore Vizhinjam international deep water seaport will be held on June 29

Tapping advantages of its long coastline that has proximity to international EXIM route, Kerala Government has unveiled its master plan for having a green field port at Vizhinjam.

According to the initial information made available to Media, the Vizhinjam international seaport will have the deepest draft in the country and it will be able to berth mega vessels of 18,000-TEU capacity.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has released the master plan for the project and its detailed project report in the presence of Ports Minister K. Babu and other dignitaries very recently.

Since public hearing is mandatory for such projects, the Kerala State Pollution Control Board in a notice announced that public hearing for the Rs. 4010-crore Vizhinjam international deep water seaport, a Kerala Government project proposed to be developed through Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL), will be held on June 29 at Aswathy Auditorium, Pallichal Road, Vizhinjam.


The State of Kerala, located along the West Coast of India, is endowed with a coastline of 580 km. Along this coast there are 14 minor ports, three intermediate ports and one major port (Cochin).

The minor ports and the intermediate ports come under the jurisdiction of Department of Ports, GoK, and the Cochin Port is under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Shipping, Government of India (GoI). Out of the minor/intermediate ports, Vizhinjam harbour is one which has been accorded minor port status in 1977. Since then, a fishing harbour and a custom port have been developed with limited facilities like a wharf and transit shed.

The Government of Kerala through its special purpose Government company –  Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd (VISL) – is developing a deep water multi-purpose green field port at Vizhinjam. The VISL has been formed as a nodal agency for implementing the green field port at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram, Capital City of Kerala.


The proposed project is based on a Landlord Port Model, where all the civil work facilities – construction of basic infrastructure like breakwater, quay wall, dredging, reclamation, rail and road access to the port – will be developed by VISL.  The port operation will be through the PPP model for an agreed concession time period. Terminal operator (s) will be required to develop the container yard, terminal buildings and purchase & operate the cargo handling equipments.


As per the master plan, the port will be developed in three phases.

Once fully developed, the port is envisioned to have

-  Fish landing centre with a total berth length of 850m in Phase-1 development.

- Breakwaters of total length 5,160m (north breakwater 3,960m, inner south breakwater 725m to be developed in Phase-1 and south breakwater of length 475m to be developed in Phase-3) to be developed in two phases.

-  Total container berth length of 2,000m which would be developed in three phases (800m in Phase-1, additional 400m in Phase-2 and another 800m in Phase-3).

- Container yard commensurate with the quay development in three phases.

-  Cruise berths of 600m which would be developed in two phases (300m in Phase-2 and another 300m in Phase-3).

-  Port craft berth of 220m and Coast Guard berth of 120m length in Phase-1.

The port is designed to primarily cater to the container trans-shipment business with provision for a cruise terminal and general/multi-purpose cargo area.


The proposed port at Vizhinjam is located in India in the state of Kerala, 16 km south of Thiruvananthapuram which falls in a close proximity to the international East-West shipping route.

The port location is selected to tap the potential for development of a deep water international container trans-shipment port that can handle the largest container vessels navigating the East-West shipping route. The proposed port location is just south to the existing fishery harbour of Vizhinjam.


The key advantage of the proposed site location is availability of naturally deep water and proximity to the East-West shipping channel. An overview of the bathymetry reveals that the seabed within the survey area covering the water front of the proposed port and the approach channel is gently sloping down towards south west, i.e. seabed depth contours are perpendicular to the shoreline towards sea. No significant bathymetric undulations are recorded within the survey area for the depths considered for the proposed port. The site is characterized by naturally available deep water depths with 20m contour located at a distance of less than 800m from the shore.


Thiruvananthapuram district is well connected by road, rail and airport to the rest of the country. National Highway NH 47 passes through Thiruvananthapuram and is at a distance of approximately 8km and running almost parallel to the shoreline.

NH47 connects Salem to Kanyakumari and is connected to Cochin Port through NH 47A. From Cochin to further north it is connected to Mumbai through NH 17. Thiruvananthapuram in North and Nagercoil and Kanyakumari in south are the nearest major urban centres on the NH 47.

It is also connected to the major towns such as Thrissur, Palakkad, Kollam and Alappuzha in Kerala and Coimbatore and Salem in Tamil Nadu. NH 47 is connected to Chennai and the rest of the country through NH 7 and NH 4.

NH 47 bypass road from Thiruvananthapuram extends up to Kovalam and construction works are in progress to extend it up to Parassala.


A railway line runs parallel to the NH 47 which connects major towns such as Thrissur, Palakkad, Kollam and Alappuzha. The existing railway line runs North-South and connects to Mumbai through Konkan Railway. This rail line connects southern parts of Tamil Nadu through Nagercoil and Tiruchi as well as to the North-West region of Tamil Nadu through Palakkad and Coimbatore.

Neyyatinkara and Balaramapuram railway stations are approximately 10 km (aerial distance) from the Vizhinjam Port location. The rail line is broad with single line running between Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari. Beyond Thiruvananthapuram towards north, double rail line exists up to Kayamkulam.

The gigantic project was showcased in Emerging Kerala, a global investor’s meet held in Kochi.

“The Kerala Government is committed to clear all the hurdles and realise this project fast,” declared State Port Minister K. Babu. An environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) study has been completed by the Asian Consulting Engineers Private Limited, an accredited agency hired by VISL. Civil works will begin once the Government gets clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The site is on the busiest international shipping channels, and the sea water along the southern coast of Kerala near Vizhinjam has a natural depth of up to 22 metres. These two factors will enable the port attract big container ships, claimed Mr. A. S. Suresh Babu, Chief Executive Officer of VISL. “At present, almost 40 per cent of India’s trans-shipment is done at the Colombo Port in Sri Lanka. If the Vizhinjam port is built, it can contribute significantly to the container trans-shipment business of the country,” according to him. Since the seabed is rocky, the port does not need maintenance dredging either, he added.


There are 31 beach resorts on the Vizhinjam coast. They cater mainly to foreign tourists who come here for Ayurveda treatment and employ nearly 3,000 people. The resorts will go out of business once the port is built. The owners of these resorts pointed out the proposed port would offer only 500 jobs.

Kerala Hotels and Restaurant Association has protested the project. Of the Rs 18,000 crore generated a year by the State’s Tourism sector, over 30 per cent come from the Kovalam-Vizhinjam-Poovar belt, noted the owners of the resorts on the Vizhinjam coast. At least a sum of Rs. 20,000 crore has been spent for developing the tourism infrastructure in this belt and all of that will go waste if the resorts are shut due to the port development, stated Mr. M. R. Narayanan, Secretary General of the South Kerala Hoteliers’ Forum.


The hoteliers also allege that VISL has falsified the facts to get clearance for the project from MoEF. The firm had hired L & T Ramboll, a leading consultancy firm in the country, for a site selection study in 2004. “The study says there are only three resorts in the project area,” remarked Mr. Cyriac Kodath of Coconut Bay, a resort that falls within the project area. VISL seeks ESIA approval in the public hearing based on this study. The study does not say a thing about the possible environmental damage, biodiversity destruction and the peculiar erosion pattern in the southern coast, charged the hoteliers.

There is no industrial belt / manufacturing units in and around Vizhinjam and no such activity is expected to pick up in the near future too. So, Vizhinjam port will have to necessarily depend on the trans-shipment traffic only, which is highly volatile and depends on many factors including the Cabotage / coastal policy etc. Once developed the port will have to gear up for stiff competition from internal (ICTT, Vallarpadam) as well as external established hub ports like Colombo, Portkelang, Tanjung Pelepas and Singapore.

Further the proposed seaport can spell disaster for fishermen and environmentalists.

More than 20,000 fisher families live in 11 villages in the vicinity of the proposed project site. Despite warnings, the Kerala Government has decided to go ahead with the construction of Vizhinjam seaport which, according to marine experts, would be an ecological disaster. Marine experts warn that the port would damage the ecologically fragile coastal belt of southern Kerala, hurt the marine fauna and flora, change the shoreline and erode the popular Kovalam Beach north of the project site.

The international container trans-shipment terminal, highlighted as a dream project that would lure huge investments, would not contribute to economic development of the State either, according to finance experts.

The gigantic project was showcased in Emerging Kerala, a global investor’s meet held in Kochi.

“The Kerala Government is committed to clear all the hurdles and realise this project fast,” declared State Port Minister K. Babu. An environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) study has been completed by the Asian Consulting Engineers Private Limited, an accredited agency hired by VISL. Civil works will begin once the Government gets clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The site is 18 km from the Malacca strait, which is one of the busiest international shipping channels, and the sea water along the southern coast of Kerala near Vizhinjam has a natural depth of up to 22 metres. These two factors will enable the port attract big container ships, claimed Mr. A. S. Suresh Babu, Chief Executive Officer of VISL. “At present, almost 40 per cent of India’s trans-shipment is done at the Colombo Port in Sri Lanka. If the Vizhinjam port is built, it can contribute significantly to the container trans-shipment business of the country,” according to him. Since the seabed is rocky, the port does not need maintenance dredging either, he added.

Just like Vizhinjam, Adimalathurai, a village south of the port site, too, is an important fish landing centre. “If the port is built here, the area will come under the port authorities and fishers will be denied access to the sea,” according to Mr. T. Peter, the State President of Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, an independent federation of fishers.

Marine scientists say that underwater rock dredging, rock removal, reclamation of sea, sand mining, construction of breakwater and quay walls for the port and the resulting pollution will cause substantial damage to the coastline and the fisheries resources. “The affected coastline will most likely extend to 10 km north and south of the proposed port,” observed Mr. Sanjeev Ghosh, former Additional Director of the Department of Fisheries of the Kerala Government.

He pointed out that the Wadge Bank, the main fishing ground in southern India, is just 50 km off the Vizhinjam coast. “It is a breeding ground for over 200 varieties of fish and is the largest coral reef of the Indian Ocean,” he says. The Wadge Bank is home to more than 60 species of ornamental fish and other oceanic animals. Commercially important fish such as squids, cuttle fish, carangids, tuna, anchovies and lobsters are abundant there.

Mr. K. K. Appukuttan, retired scientist of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Kochi, observed that several endangered, threatened and protected species like Leatherback turtle, Olive Ridley turtle, black pearl oyster and dolphins have been spotted on this coast. “The construction work will cause heavy silting up, leading to massive biodiversity loss.”
ATTN: The blog was updated for a factual error.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Arctic Shipping Code by 2016


A code regulating shipping in the high Arctic, where maritime traffic is expected to increase as the ice cap recedes, is due to be implemented in 2016, the UN shipping agency has said.
Shipping along the Arctic northern sea route is set to grow more than 30-fold over the next eight years and could account for a quarter of the cargo traffic between Europe and Asia by 2030.
“We are preparing a mandatory code for polar navigation,” Mr. Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the United Nations International Maritime Organisation, has announced. “It will be operational in 2015 (and) will probably be implemented in 2016.”
The code aims at ensuring safe navigation in a fragile ecological environment, where infrastructure is few and help in case of an accident is far away. “A new code will govern all technical requirements covering design and operations,” he told reporters.
“It will ensure the competence of seafarers… We will ensure that unless we have trained competent seafarers on board to navigate, then that vessel cannot be allowed to navigate.”
With global warming thawing sea ice, the route, which runs along Russia’s northern coast and links Europe with ports in East Asia, is opening for longer and longer each year.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

JNPT signs Concession Agreement with Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal for container facility


The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Mumbai and Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal Pvt. Ltd. (a subsidiary of M/s DP World), signed a concession agreement on June 19 for development of standalone container handling facility at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

Mr G. K. Vasan, Union Minister for Shipping and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, M/s DP World were present on the occasion.

Under the agreement, a terminal with the quay length of 330 metres will be developed by the concessionaire at an estimated cost of Rs. 600 crores.

The estimated capacity addition will be 0.8 Million TEUs per annum. The project is slated to be completed by December 2015.

While addressing the elite gathering, Mr Vasan said, “I complement the management of JNPT for taking the lead in achieving this feat, I also urge the other ports to develop systems conforming to international standards in respect of infrastructure development through PPP as a part of Maritime Agenda.

According to JNPT official sources, the project would be executed on DBFOT (Design, Built, Finance Operate and Transfer) basis, with a concession period of approximately 17 years.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust floated a global tender and DP World was the successful bidder for the project, with their offer of 28.9 percent revenue share to the port. M/s DP World has formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV) namely Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal Pvt. Ltd. to implement the project.

The agreement was signed on behalf of JNPT by Chairman Mr N.N. Kumar and on behalf of Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal Pvt. Ltd by Mr Anil Singh, Senior Vice President & MD of DP World (Subcontinent).

Patting DP World for being the main player in Indian port sector, Union Minister for Shipping Mr Vasan said, “I am happy that the Chairman of DP World is here with us on this historic occasion. Having started their operations in India in 1999 with the container terminal at JNPT, they have expanded their presence to Chennai, Mundra, Visakhapatnam, and Cochin.”

The Minister also used the opportunity to invite DP World to participate in development projects taken up across various ports in India.

Congratulating the JNP for being a harbinger of growing container-handling ports in the country, Mr Vasan said, “Having set for itself a long term goal of achieving 10 million TEUs by the year 2018-19, JNP throws open an array of worthwhile opportunities for Shipping Lines and Shippers to ferry their cargo to various sectors across the globe.”

With its strong commitment to provide seamless service to its customers as India’s prime facilitator of international trade, JNP strives to be the undisputed leader in the South Asian region in years to come, the Minister added.

JN Port is the biggest container handling Port in India, handling around 44 percent of the country`s containerized cargo, first crossing the historic landmark of 4 million TEUs in container throughput in the year 2007-08. The port is currently ranked 26th among the top 100 Container Ports in the world.

Besides others, Secretary (Shipping), Mr. P.K. Sinha, Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Dr. (Mrs.) T. Kumar, Joint Secretaries, Mr. N. Muruganandam and Mr. M.C. Jauhari, Senior Vice-President and MD, DP World, Mr. Anil Singh and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Anil Vats attended the signing ceremony.

The new 330-metre berth with 27 hectares of yard will add 800,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent container units) of container capacity and help ease congestion at Jawaharlal Nehru Port. DP World will invest around US$200 million to build the terminal, which is expected to commence operations in 2015. The new terminal is adjacent to the Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT), which DP World currently operates.

Commenting on the development, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said: “We thank the Government of India and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust for their confidence in our ability to support the growth of India’s vibrant economy through the construction and operation of new state-of-the-art, modern infrastructure in the country’s busiest port.

With a 17-year concession period, we are investing for the long term and we look forward to continuing to work with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust into the future, the Sultan added.

Mr. Anil Singh, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World Subcontinent, stated: “We have worked closely with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust over the years. We were the port’s first private partner in 1997 with NSICT, and together with the port we have played a key role in serving India’s growing trade for more than a decade.”

“I take this opportunity to thank the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust for its continued support over the years, and also for giving us the opportunity to partner with the port once again to provide world class facilities for India’s trade,” he added.

The new container terminal will be equipped with four modern rail-mounted quay cranes and 12 rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes.

Chennai Port to organise trade meet in Andhra on July 5

source: http://www.sagarsandesh.com/news/chennai-port-to-organise-trade-meet-in-andhra-on-july-5/

With the view to increasing its base in the major cargo originating regions, Chennai Port is organizing a mega trade meet in Hyderabad on July 5. 
“We have planned the meeting to basically disseminate the capabilities of Chennai Port among the major EXIM players in that State,” a senior port official told Sagar Sandesh.
The main thrust at the meet would be for project cargo, RORO, granite, foodgrains and containerized cargo, as Chennai Port is better connected with ports of different continents, the official added
It may be noted here that Chennai Port has positioned itself as a main port in the country for handling of project cargo and RORO vessels with its direct services to the world’s busiest ports.
Besides top officials of Chennai Port and its two container terminals, high-ranking AP Government officials, representatives from Customs, CONCOR, RORO-vessel operators, Andhra Chamber of Commerce and vibrant exporters and importers from the region are expected to participate in the meet.
Based on the feedback and outcome of the July 5 meeting, the Chennai Port management is likely to organise such trade meets in different cargo-originating regions across South India.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

‘Moily stalling action to seek billions in penalty from RIL’

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily is stalling arbitration proceedings against the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) seeking to recover a penalty of $1 billion from the firm for violating contractual obligations in gas extraction in the Krishna-Godavari basin, says CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta. 
Mr. Moily is going against the recommendations of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) that the Mukesh Ambani-owned RIL should surrender a part of the gas block allotted to it and pay additional penalties, charged Mr. Dasgupta.
Mr. Dasgupta told reporters here that he had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking immediate attention to the issue and an inquiry into the whole matter. “It was RIL which opted for arbitration after a $1 billion penalty was imposed on them on the advice of the Solicitor General. But after Jaipal Reddy’s departure from the ministry, every effort is being made to condone the criminality and no effort has been made to recover the penalty or impose new penalties for the failure of RIL to not only live up to the promised production but also for not doing enough to complete the works programme submitted by it despite reminders by the DGH,” Mr. Dasgupta alleged.
Mr. Dasgupta said that the DGH had recommended that 86 per cent area of the KG basin block of RIL D6 should be surrendered by the contractor. The CAG had also made similar remarks. However, Mr. Moily has not only sought to defy the CAG recommendations but is also openly talking about going against the report of the DGH on the issue. “Every effort is being made to sabotage the arbitration process and officials are being pressurised to write a note on the uselessness of such proceedings. These need to be looked into thoroughly and a judicial inquiry should be instituted to bring out the truth before the people,” he added.
He said the $1 billion penalty was imposed on the principle that if capital investments have been made for a certain level of production and that level is not being met, then the cost recovery should also be proportionately reduced. “By the same principle, the Ministry should disallow expenditure [recover penalty] of $4.17 billion for shortfall of 55 mmscmd [million standard cubic feet per day] in 2012-13 against the approved production level. If the current production levels are any indication, this penalty is likely to touch $3 billion in the current year. No notice for restricting cost recovery based on the falling production of 2012-13 and the current year has been served on the RIL,” he charged.
However, since Mr. Moily took over, nothing has been done to recover the penalty. He said the RIL has already recovered the $5.5 billion investment made by it in the KG D6 block and it is the government that stands to lose $1 billion by not proceeding with the arbitration.
When contacted by The Hindu, the petroleum ministry refused to comment on the issue.

Friday, June 14, 2013

EXCLUSIVE:World Maritime University branch in India hangs in balance


Will the country ever get a branch of World Maritime University (WMU) as assured by Union Shipping Minister G. K. Vasan and Prof. Björn Kjerfve, President of WMU, a million dollar question, hangs in balance for some months now.
It may be noted here that Mr. Vasan, while addressing students of Indian Maritime University in November last, had announced that efforts were on for setting up a branch of WMU in India.
In a related development in February this year, Prof. Björn Kjerfve, President of WMU, while addressing a gathering during the World Shipping Forum also hinted at setting up a branch in the country as India has several maritime institutions.
However, in an e-mailed reply to Sagar Sandesh on a specific query whether any process is on for setting up a branch in India, Ms. Maia Brindley Nilsson, Communications and Development Officer, World Maritime University, replied that no such move is on from the WMU side and there is nothing to report.
The World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden, is a post-graduate maritime university founded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.
Established by an IMO Assembly Resolution in 1983, the aim of WMU is to further enhance the objectives and goals of IMO and IMO-member states around the world through education, research and capacity building to ensure safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.

Ironically, in a resolution adopted in October 1989 by IMO while appreciating the yeomen service of the then Secretary General, Mr, Chandrika Prasad Srivastava, there was a reference of WMU branches in Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, China, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ghana, IndiaMexico, Morocco and UAE.
However, the proposal for opening WMU branches at these countries (including one in India) had gathered dust over the years as the successive Secretary Generals failed to put it in on fast track mode.
When Sagar Sandesh took up the matter with the IMO whether these branches were set up as proposed in 1989, Ms. Pamela Tansey, Senior Deputy Director, Technical Co-operation Division, in an emailed reply stated: “There are no accredited WMU branches, but WMU does run outreach programmes specifically in China, with Dalian University. It may be noted that the outreach programme is conducted by WMU professors who travel to Dalian and run the same courses as those on the Malmö campus, in other words the academic material and standards are the same in both locations.
She also clarified that at present the university structure comprises the main campus in Malmö, Sweden, which houses the governance and administration plus the main section of the student body.
However, there has been a renewed interest among the IMO top brass of late as setting up WMU branches in countries that produce major chunk of mariners for the global fleet would standardize the quality of maritime education.
But, time will only tell whether India gets a branch of World Maritime University in the coming months, if not years.

What WMU offers?

According to the details available, the WMU offers only post-graduate degrees like Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Science (M.Sc.) and Post-graduate Diploma (PGD).

In Malmö, Sweden, the university offers a program leading to a Master of Science in Maritime Affairs. Students can specialize in one of these six areas – Shipping Management & Logistics, Port Management, Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration, Marine Environmental & Ocean Management, Maritime Law & Policy and Maritime Education & Training.
In Shanghai, China, WMU offers a Master of Science in International Transport & Logistics, and in Dalian, China, the university offers a Master of Science in Maritime Safety & Environmental Management. The China-based programs are designed and taught by WMU professors.

Monday, June 10, 2013

EXIM players on exposure trip to European ports


With a view to giving more exposure about the working style of EU ports to regional EXIM players, the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) organized a visit to European Ports recently.
The delegation, which consisted of 11 members from companies such as Kattupalli Port, Brakes India, Sattva Logistics and S Natesa Iyer & Co., visited the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Ghent. 
These ports were specifically chosen by the Madras Chamber as they represent various aspects of the maritime trade.
While Zeebrugge is the largest new car container facility in Europe, Ghent is a riverine port handling coal and iron ore effectively adhering to environmental norms; Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe and Antwerp is a major port in Europe situated on the river Scheldt, both handling multi-commodities.
Members of the delegation saw at first-hand how a city-based port of Antwerp effectively and efficiently handles break bulk and liquid bulk cargo. It may be noted here that the refining facilities located in the port premises was the highlight of this port.
The modern container terminals with evacuation by road, rail and barge demonstrate the ease of access and evacuation from the port.
At the port of Ghent, members were impressed to see the effective pollution control on dry bulk cargo, especially coal and the effective use of water cannons and silicon spraying to control dust pollution of dry bulk cargoes. The port of Ghent also has a port-based facility where liquid concentrated juice is pumped into tanks, thereafter blended and packaged and distributed throughout Europe.
The Arcelor Mittal steel factory is also located in the port premises at Ghent and the port efficiently caters to their raw material and fuel requirements.
The short sea service provided by ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam to connect various European Ports was another interesting learning experience for the visiting Indians.
According to a member of the delegation, most of these ports have effectively installed wind turbines to cater to their energy requirements and are moving towards a coal and carbon neutrality.
Members also had an opportunity to see the world’s heaviest floating crane structures, capable of lifting 14,000 tonnes and 8,000 tonnes of cargo. These are the largest available lifting structures in the world.
The road infrastructure created by the ports for access and evacuation effectively bypasses city traffic and avoids congestion.
Members also had an occasion to participate in the Break Bulk Conference held at Antwerp as well as visit the exhibition and interact with the delegates from around the world.
The visit was organized at the invitation of Mr. Mark Peel, Chairman, Port of Antwerp, who had led a delegation from the Port of Antwerp to Chennai in February this year. The whole coordination for the delegation was extended by Mr. Raj Khalid, India Representative of Port of Antwerp based in Mumbai, which facilitated the various visits/appointments.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Regular weekly TCX service from Kattupalli International Container Terminal (KICT)


The Larsen and Toubro’s (L & T) Kattupalli International Container Terminal (KICT) at Kattupalli, Chennai, has started making waves in the world EXIM map of late, as it began a regular and fixed services to Thailand from the newly inaugurated facility.
On June 7 (0025 hrs), NYK Container Line Ltd’s vessel Iwaki, a part of Thailand Chennai Express (TCX) service, called at the Kattupalli Port.
Speaking to Sagar Sandesh, a senior Kattupalli Port official said that the terminal handled 135 import boxes (TEUs) and 16 export boxes in less than two hours.
It may be noted that in the first TCX Service X-PRESS INDUS in April this year, the KICT handled about 162 TEUs.
Besides, the port management also announced that a TCX vessel would call at Kattupalli Port every week and requested the EXIM fraternity in the region to utilize these services.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

764 shipping companies named... No more crying of cadets for sea-time


Reeling out a list of 764 registered shipping companies to benefit the pre-sea training institutes seeking sea-time for their trainee cadets, DG Shipping has come out with a list of shipping companies that could be contacted by the institutes for the availability of mandatory onboard sea-time slots.
The same is also made available with Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA) Office and can be obtained by an e-mail request, says the circular.
It is worth mentioning at this juncture that Sagar Sandesh and R. L Institute of Nautical Sciences, Madurai, have been crusading the cause of these hapless cadets ever since their inception.
In a bid to redress the non-availability of slots for mandatory onboard training of pre-sea cadets, DG Shipping has been taking slew of steps, says a note issued by Assistant Director General of Shipping S. K. Jaiswal. 
The various efforts initiated by the Directorate to increase the maritime shipboard training slots and to mitigate the severe shortage of onboard training berths in shipping industry have been duly communicated to all maritime training institutes, adds the note.


All the pre-sea maritime training institutes are advised to provide the details of cadets who are awaiting training berths to INSA for facilitation to charterers. In continuation to the above, a list of Indian shipping companies with details of tonnage owned by them as of March 31, 2012 is released. 
This will facilitate the maritime training institutes to make use of this information for the purpose of placing their trainee cadets for training programs/sea time on ships.


All the maritime training institutes conducting DG approved pre-sea courses are also advised to submit the placement details of their trainees on a monthly basis to this Directorate, to enable the organisation keep records updated and review the matter at regular intervals.

பணி ஓய்வுக்குப் பின் மன நிம்மதி

By முகவை.க.சிவகுமார்
ஓய்வு பெற்றவர்களுக்கான பணிக்கொடை, சேமநலநிதி, ஓய்வூதியம், சலுகைகள் உள்ளிட்டவைகளை ஓய்வு பெறுவதற்கு ஒரு நாள் முன்னதாகவே வழங்கும் விழா, சென்னை புதுக்கல்லூரியில் சமீபத்தில் நடைபெற்றது.
உயர்கல்வித் துறையின் சென்னை மண்டலத்தில் உள்ள அரசு உதவி பெறும் 25  கல்லூரிகளில் சுமார் 30 ஆண்டுகளுக்கும் மேலாக பணியாற்றிய 62 பேராசிரியர்களுக்கு, ஓய்வுக்குப் பிறகு கிடைக்க வேண்டிய அனைத்தும் ஒரே நாளில் வழங்கப்பட்டன.
 இதில் என்ன புதுமை இருக்கிறது என நினைப்பவர்கள், அரசுத் துறைகளிலிருந்து ஓய்வுபெறுபவர்கள் படும் அவதிகளைக் கேட்டறிந்தால் புரியும். ஒருவர் ஓய்வுபெறும்போது துணை ஆட்சியர் அந்தஸ்தில் கூட இருக்கலாம். ஆனால் பணி ஓய்வு பெற்ற மறுநாளே  அவரும் சாதாரண ஓய்வூதியதாரர்தான்! அவரும் கடைநிலை எழுத்தரிடம் நின்று, பல முறை அலைந்துதான் தனது ஓய்வூதியச் சலுகைகளைப் பெறமுடியும்.
ஓய்வுபெறும் ஒருவர் அவரது பணிக்கொடை, சேமநலநிதி போன்றவற்றைப் பெறவே மாதக் கணக்கில் காத்திருக்க வேண்டிய அவல நிலை உள்ளது. இதற்கு எந்தத்துறையும் விதிவிலக்கு அல்ல. 
 இத்தகைய நிலைக்குக் காரணம் என்ன? சென்னை குருநானக் கல்லூரியில் சுமார் 35  ஆண்டுகளுக்கும் மேல் பேராசிரியர், கல்லூரி முதல்வராகப் பணியாற்றி இந்த விழாவில் ஓய்வுபெற்ற மாரின் மொரைஸ் இதைத் தெளிவுபடுத்தினார்.
 ""முதலில் அனைத்துத் துறைகளிலும் இந்தப் பணியைக் கவனிக்க போதுமான ஊழியர்கள் இல்லை. அப்படியே இருக்கும் ஊழியர்களிலும் பெரும்பாலானோரிடம் கடமை உணர்வுகள் பாராட்டும்படியாக இல்லை. உதாரணமாக இதே அலுவலகத்தில் முன்பிருந்த ஒரு அலுவலர் ஓய்வுபெற இன்னும் மூன்று மாதங்களே இருந்தன. எனவே கணக்கிடுவதில் ஏதேனும் தவறு ஏற்பட்டால் தனக்குத்தான் சிக்கல். ஆகையால் ஓய்வு பெறும்வரை எந்தக் கோப்பையும் பைசல் செய்து ஒப்புதல் அளிக்க முடியாது என்று சாதித்தே காட்டினார். அவருக்கு அவரது சொந்தக் கவலை. அவரை யாரும் தட்டிக் கேட்க முடியவில்லை.
 ஓய்வுக்கு பிறகு கிடைக்கும் பணத்தைக் கொண்டு திருமணம், வீடு, மனைகள் வாங்குவது,  கடனை அடைப்பது என பல்வேறு திட்டமிடலில்தான் ஒருவர் ஓய்வு பெறுகிறார். ஆனால் தற்போதைய நிலையின்படி பெரும்பாலானோர் தங்களது கனவுகளை அவ்வளவு எளிதில் நனவாக்க முடிவதில்லை. எப்படிப் பார்த்தாலும் நம் நாட்டில் உள்ள சிவப்பு நாடா முறைதான் அத்தனைக்கும் காரணம். இதையும் மீறி எங்களுக்கு ஓய்வுபெறும் நாளன்றே அனைத்துப் பயன்களும் கிடைத்தது நாங்கள் செய்த புண்ணியம்தான்'' என்றார் மொரைஸ். அவர் கூறியது அங்கிருந்த 62 பேரின் கருத்தாகவே நாம் அறிய முடிந்தது.
 இந்த 62 பேராசிரியர்களுக்கும் ஓய்வுபெறும் நாளன்றே ஓய்வூதியச் சலுகைகளை ஒரு அலுவலகத்தால் வழங்க முடியும் எனில் மற்ற அலுவலகங்களால் ஏன் முடியாது என்ற கேள்வியே நம் முன் எழுகிறது.
 தமிழகத்தில் முன்மாதிரியாக எடுத்துக் கொள்ள வேண்டிய இச்சிறப்பான பணியை யார் செய்திருந்தாலும் பாராட்டித்தான் ஆகவேண்டும். இப்பணிக்கு முயற்சி எடுத்த கல்லூரிக் கல்வித்துறை சென்னை மண்டல இணை இயக்குனர் டாக்டர் ரவிக்குமார் பாராட்டுக்குரியவர்.
 ""முதலில் இப்பதவியில் பொறுப்பேற்றபோது சுமார் 800 கோப்புகள் நிலுவையில் இருந்தன. இவற்றையெல்லாம் முதலில் பைசல் செய்தாக வேண்டும் என முடிவெடுத்தேன். பிறகு அலுவலக ஊழியர்கள் அனைவரிடத்திலும் இதன் அவசியம் குறித்து விளக்கி அவர்களது ஒத்துழைப்பையும் பெற்றேன். இது ஒரு கூட்டு முயற்சி. தற்போதைய நிலவரப்படி எங்கள் அலுவலகத்தில் எந்த ஒரு ஓய்வூதியதாரரின் கோப்பும் நிலுவையில் இல்லை. ஒரு லட்சியமாக மேற்கொண்டு இப்பணியை எங்கள் அலுவலகம் செய்து வருகிறது. இதில் எங்களுக்கு ஓர் ஆத்ம திருப்தி. உயர் அதிகாரிகள் சரியாகப் பணியாற்றினால், சக ஊழியர்களையும் அரவணைத்துச் செயல்பட்டால், எந்த அலுவலகமும் சரியான திசையில் கண்டிப்பாகப் பயணிக்கும் என்பதுதான் உண்மை'' என்றார் இணை இயக்குனர் ரவிக்குமார்.
 இது ஒரு அலுவலகத்திற்கு மட்டுமல்ல, ஒரு துறைக்கு மட்டுமல்ல. ஒட்டுமொத்த அரசு, தனியார் நிர்வாகங்களுக்கே அவசியமான ஒன்று. ஒருவர் இன்ன தேதியில் ஓய்வுபெறுகிறார் என்பது பணியில் சேர்ந்த தேதியிலேயே கூறிவிட முடியும் என்ற நிலையில் அவர் நியாயமாகப் பெறவேண்டிய ஓய்வூதியப் பயன்களை ஓய்வு பெறும் நாளன்றே வழங்க வேண்டும். அதுதான் அவர்களுக்கு நிம்மதியைத் தரும். இதனை அரசு கட்டாயம் நடைமுறைப்படுத்த வேண்டும்.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ghost Hockey Team making Mockery of National Game in Andaman


E Arun & Tarun Kartick

Port Blair, Jun 3: In a shocking revelation Andaman Sheekha had published a news on 1st June 2013 highlighting how a Ghost Team of Andamans participated in Senior Men’s National Championship in Pune recently, about which the Andaman and Nicobar Administration has no clue.

Further investigation carried out by Andaman Sheekha has revealed that the Ghost team, which represented Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the said Championship was picked up from Bangaluru and most the players were from some Engineering college.

The investigation further revealed that in that team only four players were from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, while others were Mainlanders. A journalist from Indian Express, who is carrying out a detailed investigation in this issue told Andaman Sheekha that the team management of the Ghost team is now giving excuse that a team from Bangaluru is taken for the National Championship as there is “no culture of Hockey in Andaman”. Isn’t this is a matter of shame that some imposters are ruining the image of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in National level and Administration is keeping mum.

It has been learnt that now the team of Maharastra is planning to lodge an official complaint against the fake team to Hockey India.
Talking to Andaman Sheekha Mr. Rakesh Bali, Secretary (Sports) today accepted that he is totally unaware about this Ghost team. “We haven’t sent any team for the said Championship. I also got a call from the correspondent of Indian Express newspaper on this issue,” Mr. Bali said.

Mr. Lucas Robert, Director of Sports, Andaman and Nicobar Islands also told Andaman Sheekha that the Directorate of Sports and the State Sports Council are totally unaware of the team playing under Andaman and Nicobar Banner in the Hockey India’s Senior Men’s National Championship.

“Only four of the team members of the fake Andaman and Nicobar Team belong to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and it is believed that these four players are undergoing some training in some private sports organization at Bengaluru,” Mr. Roberts confirmed.

When Mr. Lucas was questioned about what action will be taken against those who have made a mockery of A& N Islands, he said that if the hockey association is registered in Andaman and Nicobar Administration then the Department of Sports will cancel its registration.
This is not the first time when people from mainland were taken to National Level Tournaments, depriving local talented youths but sadly neither Police Department nor the Department of Sports is taking any action against the wrong doers.

The Most important question is without conducting any kind of regional or state level tournaments in Andaman and Nicobar Islands for selecting best players, how such ghost teams are formed and selected for National Level Tournament? Are our investigating agencies are sleeping or they are getting their cut from the wrong doers to keep quiet?

Another important question is that for sending a team for National Level Tournament, team managements need a lot of money but in this case who is financing such fake teams? Are indirectly the ‘Certificates of Participation’ in National Level Tournament are being sold to players and non-Islanders by some miscreants in name of promotion of sports in Islands?

Monday, June 3, 2013

AP has the highest share of Port projects under construction under PPP model


The State of Andhra Pradesh commands the lion’s share of over 46 per cent with three projects worth over Rs. 20,000 crores under construction in the ports sector under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model as of April 30, 2013.

 “With three projects worth over Rs. 1,425 crores, AP has a share of about six per cent in the PPP port projects under operation and the State has no projects in the ports sector that are under bidding,” according to a just concluded study titled ‘Port Developments in India’ released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

“While Gujarat accounts for the maximum share of over 50 per cent in the total number of completed projects in the ports sector that have been put to service delivery under the PPP model as of April 30, Kerala has the highest share of about 40 per cent in the PPP ports projects under bidding,” highlighted the study that was jointly released by Mr. Ravindra Sannareddy, Chairman of ASSOCHAM Southern Regional Council, and Mr. D. S.  Rawat, National Secretary General, at a Press conference held in Hyderabad.

“Out of the total 881 PPP projects worth over Rs. 5.4 lakh crores taken up under the PPP model across India, 62 projects in the port sector worth over Rs. 82,000 crores are in different stages of implementation,” said Mr. Sannareddy.

“While 21 PPP projects in the port sector with a share of over 52 per cent worth over Rs. 43,000 crores are under construction, eight projects worth about Rs. 14,000 crores with a share of about 17 per cent are under bidding,” stated Mr. Rawat.

“Of the remaining, one project is in the expression of interest stage (EoI) and one has been cancelled,” he added.

Of the total, 31 PPP port projects worth over Rs. 24,700 crores are under operation in India as of April 30. Gujarat accounts for over 50 per cent share with 12 completed PPP projects worth over Rs. 12,400 crores, according to the study.

With two port projects worth over Rs. 4,100 crores completed and put to operation in the PPP mode, Odisha ranks second with a share of about 17 per cent followed by Maharashtra where five projects worth over Rs. 3,700 crores are under operation.

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu each with three projects under operation have garnered a share between 5-6 per cent followed by Kerala (2.8 per cent).

Apart from Andhra Pradesh, the States of Maharashtra, Kerala and Odisha and the Union Territory of Pondicherry are the other regions with maximum share ranging between 7-16 per cent in the PPP projects worth over Rs. 2,900-Rs. 6,700 crores under construction.

With two projects worth over Rs. 5,500 crores, Kerala has the maximum share of about 40 per cent in the PPP ports projects under bidding. Maharashtra and Karnataka are the other States with a share of over 37 per cent and 23 per cent in this category.

Besides, with a share of over 53 per cent, Gujarat also tops the list amid nine maritime states as it could create almost double the capacity at the minor ports than was envisaged in the 11th Five Year plan.

Minor ports in Gujarat had a capacity of 182 million tonnes as on March 31, 2007 and the State was expected to add about 56 million tonnes capacity during the XI Plan (2007-12), while the State had realised capacity addition to about 283.6 million tonnes up to March 31, 2011, i.e. actual capacity addition of 101.6 million tonnes during the first four years of XI Plan,” according to the study.

The total capacity of India’s nine maritime states namely – Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Pudhucherry and Tamil Nadu – as on March 31, 2007, was about 228.3 million tonnes which was expected to add about 337.4 million tonnes during 2007-12 and the total capacity realized as on March 31, 2011 was 418.3 million tonnes thereby adding about 190 million tonnes during the first four years of the XI Plan.

Odisha is only the second State after Gujarat which realized the actual capacity addition of about 23 million tonnes from zero capacity during the first four years of XI Plan thereby by exceeding the expected capacity addition between 2007-12 which was about 13.2 million tonnes.

Considering that India’s port infrastructure is not on par with the global standards, the inefficient port services pose severe challenges to India’s trade as the inefficiency and non-competitiveness of India’s ports result in higher costs, apart from the turnaround time at ports, the report said.

There is an urgent need to modernize India’s ports as the existing ports are plagued with a plethora of problems like congestion, poor connectivity, accessibility and lack of adequate facilities,” highlighted the study.

“There is a huge scope for investments in development of port infrastructure which needs to develop fast and the capacity utilization must also be improved,” it further said.

The XII Plan objective of attracting more than one lakh crore private investments for developing non-major ports turns out to be an ambitious target unless and otherwise their XI Plan performances are evaluated in proper spirit.

The concerned states must seriously consider incorporating the success strategies of others for better fulfillment of the Plan objectives, suggested the apex chamber.

India’s merchandise trade has increasingly been affected by its deficient port infrastructure. Hence, ASSOCHAM has suggested to the Government to quickly revamp its ports development strategy to attract maximum private resources into the country.

According to the ASSOCHAM study, there is a need to expand the existing framework to attract private sector participation for the development of infrastructure facilities and other related activities.

Private investment can be a huge bonus in areas like road infrastructure, coastal shipping and inland waterways with port connectivity apart from ship repairs and ship building.