Sri Lanka’s new leaders are banking on Chinese investments to revive the Hambantota port project.
Hambantota gained notoriety as a port without ships and was the butt of opposition criticism of then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Following Rajapaksa’s ouster in January’s presidential election, the new government first toyed with the idea of turning the port into a ship-breaking yard, before deciding to make it a dockyard.
“We have US$ 1.5 billion sunk in the project and no revenue. We need to make use of it. We want Chinese investors to come and help turn it into a dockyard as well as invest in an industrial park there,” Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Harsha de Silva told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview. “The Chinese have expressed interest in the project.
Hopefully things will start moving after Colombo Port City is sorted,” he said.
The Sri Lankan Cabinet has approved a plan by China HarbourEngineering Company (CHEC) to do a feasibility study to build the dockyard at Hambantota.
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A business delegation from French company, HAROPA, has met Ghanaian maritime companies in order to present transport and logistics solution offers available to and from the Seine gateway for efficient service delivery.
The decision for the HAROPA, an alliance of ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris, team to invest in Ghana is based on the country’s ownership of huge assets, political stability, its well-developed legal framework and the good level of infrastructures, company officials said.
The delegation presented varied solutions aimed to ensure efficiency in Ghanaian ports in terms of conventional transport, containers, roll-on/roll-off and break-bulk.
The meeting drew in ship-owners, shipping agents, shippers, traders and freight forwarders, a move seen as a step to reinforce HAROPA’s African partnerships and make available their world class services on the river Seine corridor.
Mr Philippe Dehays, President of Rouen Port Employers’ Association described Accra as one of the most dynamic cities in Africa, which ought not to be missed, a destination for HAROPA.
He said the visit would help afford the opportunity to foster and develop a strong relation between the port communities in Ghana and France to provide effective and efficient services to clients. www.ghanaweb.com/...
Princess Cruises enters North China market using Tianjin as home port
Global cruise operator Carnival Plc announced Friday the inaugural season of its Sapphire Princess under the Princess Cruises brand from its new home port of North China's Tianjin Municipality.
This marked the first time Princess Cruises has offered home port cruises out of the northern part of China.
According to the company, the Sapphire Princess, which can accommodate up to 2,670 guests, will take guests on five voyages to destinations in northern Asia such as South Korea and Japan. The voyages started on October 9 and end on November 9.
Following Princess Cruises' successful season in Shanghai, Princess Cruises introduced the Sapphire Princess to Tianjin, a move to further highlight China's foremost position in the company's development plans, Anthony Kaufman, executive vice president for international operations, said at a briefing in Tianjin on Friday.
"As the cruise industry is now rising in the Chinese market, which is different from the more mature cruise markets in the US, the UK and Australia, we are trying to attract Chinese customers by offering customized services," Kaufman told the Global Times Friday.
Carnival also said on Friday that a new cruise ship under construction for the Princess Cruises brand will be named Majestic Princess. It will be based in China year-round beginning in summer 2017.
The new vessel will become the first built specifically for Chinese guests incorporating a blend of international and Chinese features, according to the company. www.ecns.cn/2015/...
Singapore-headquartered container carrier APL will start a new weekly US-flagged service to connect key markets in north Asia with the US west coast, from where it will have inland rail connections.
Eagle Express Service (EXI) will rotate between the ports of Qingdao, Shanghai, Busan, Los Angeles, Oakland, Dutch Harbor, Yokohama, Busan, Naha, Qingdao, and back to Shanghai.
Six vessels with a nominal capacity of 5,100 teu will be deployed for the service. The first sailing will be from Qingdao, China, on 1 November.
EXI also provides speedy transits to Los Angeles in just 13 days from Shanghai, China, and 11 days from Busan, South Korea.
"We are committed to adding robustness to the supply chains of our customers. Whether it is shipment to the US west coast or its inland destinations, time-sensitive shippers can now take advantage of the superior transit times and on-time assurance offered by APL's Eagle Express Service," said APL president Kenneth Glenn.
EXI includes exclusive calls at the ports of Dutch Habor, the United States, and Naha, Japan, allowing westbound shippers to gain access to these markets.
Shipment from Dutch Habor will take only seven days to arrive in Yokohama, Japan. www.ihsmaritime36...
Govt to revive stalled container terminal at Mumbai port
The shipping ministry has agreed to re-tender and revive a stalled container terminal built by Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd at government-owned Mumbai port by converting it into a multipurpose facility to handle clean cargo.
The decision could help a consortium of state-owned lenders recover a part of the Rs.900 crore, including interest in the past three years, lent to the terminal. The loan has gone bad.
Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), State Bank of India (SBI), UCO Bank and India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd (IIFCL) had loaned Rs.706 crore (now Rs.900 crore with interest) to the project which has been delayed by five years due to reasons over which the project promoters had no control.
“The container terminal has failed. The shipping ministry has decided to re-tender the project by changing the structure and scope of the project. The fresh tender will follow the model used by state-owned Kamarajar Port Ltd for converting an idle iron ore terminal into a coal terminal at the port located at Ennore near Chennai,” a spokesman for the shipping ministry said.
A spokesman for Mumbai port confirmed the development. This was the first container privatization project at Mumbai port, one of India’s oldest.
The alternative clean cargo to be handled at the terminal will be firmed up on the basis of a detailed feasibility study which is currently being carried out.
Alang gets a boost as two ship recyclers win green compliance status
R. L. Kalthia Ship Breaking Pvt. Ltd and Priya Blue Industries Pvt. Ltd, two ship recycling yards located in Alang, Gujarat, have won compliance status with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2009.
The statement of compliance (SoC) issued by Japan-based global ship classification society ClassNK on 29 September to the two Indian ship recyclers marks the first time such a recognition has been given to ship breakers in South Asia. It goes a long way in dispelling doubts about the beaching method of breaking ships practised on the shores of Alang.
The ClassNK compliance to Kalthia and Priya Blue is a clear indication that it is not difficult to meet the standards set by the Hong Kong International Convention if necessary improvements are made and facilities are upgraded. It is also a signal to scores of other recycling facilities in Alang to follow in the footsteps of Kalthia and Priya Blue to win compliance status.
The compliance status will also give confidence to fleet owners to send their old ships for breaking to recycling facilities that follow safe and environmentally sound processes.
Under the beaching method, ships are first grounded and then dismantled, posing hazards to human beings and the environment.
A ship classification society verifies ships for sea worthiness. ClassNK is a full-time member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). www.hellenicshipp...
The company plans to develop the terminal on 17 acres at St Marys in western Sydney.
It will have capacity to handle up to shipping containers.
The investment is the largest in a broader plan that includes the ongoing upgrade of an existing intermodal terminal at Sydney’s Chullora, and developing a new freight terminal at Parkes in NSW to connect Port Botany to a planned inland rail line.
The strategy will help move freight efficiently to south and western Sydney, reduce road congestion and minimise double container handling, chief executive John Mullen said.
He was speaking at the opening of Asciano-owned Patrick’s new automated Port Botany container terminal.
Green groups challenge planned Oakland coal export terminal
Four environmental groups have urged a state court to block construction of a major coal export terminal in Oakland, California until the city undertakes further environmental review of the project.
The groups, represented by Earthjustice, filed a lawsuit on Friday in the Alameda County Superior Court in California. They argued that Oakland is required by state law to more closely study the impact of the project, which has been proposed for a former U.S. Army base site.
The Durban Harbour will undergo major maintenance to its docking sites to handle its increasing traffic of megaships, the Transnet National Port Authority has said.
With massive ships now entering Durban Harbour, the ports authority said ongoing efforts had been made to address “shallow spots”.
In a statement, Durban Port Manager Moshe Motlohi said: “The vessels calling at our ports have gotten bigger and therefore require deeper draughts. But they also cause challenges for ports because of the manner in which they more aggressively displace material from the sea bed, thus causing shallow spots.
“Shallower berths can cut into the vessel payloads of ship owners because it means they cannot sail into the port with their vessels fully laden and have to wait for high tide to sail or berth.”
Motlohi added that Transnet will also be taking delivery of a new suction hopper dredger, the Ilembe, in December. It will be used to dredge larger areas such as the entrance channels.
“Transnet has also received approval to build a new grab hopper dredger dedicated to the port, which should be delivered by the end of 2016.”
The challenge presented by megaships calling at ports is presently a global phenomenon. www.hellenicshipp...
Port Panama City breaks tonnage record; service to Veracruz added
Port Panama City handled a record 2.03 million tons of cargo during the 2015 fiscal year, trumping its previous high set before the Great Recession.
“We did, for the first time in the history of this port, exceed 2 million tons of cargo,” Port Director Wayne Stubbs reported during a board meeting Thursday. “It’s been a goal, a milestone.”
The record haul, which exceeded 1.8 million tons set back in 2006, was driven by increases in almost all of the port’s imports and exports year over year, with the exception of container cargo, which declined by about 20 percent.
However, port officials are optimistic container cargo will see a strong boost this fall as Panama City shipping company Linea Peninsular announced a new weekly service to Veracruz, Mexico, beginning Nov. 1. The service will complement Linea’s existing service between Panama City and Progreso, Mexico, and accommodate various types of container cargo, also opening up access to larger cities in Mexico.
“Veracruz serves the Mexico City market, which is 20 million people as well as an industrial and an agricultural area,” Stubbs said.
One of the largest tonnage increases in 2015 came from steel plate imports, which surged from about 84,000 tons last year to 348,000 tons in 2015, a reflection of record-breaking orders for one of the port’s major tenants, Berg Steel Pipe Corp. Berg received its largest order in company history last year and is now close to completing the project, which called for the production of 600 miles, or 480,000 net tons, of large-diameter pipe.
To complete the project, along with other major orders secured last year, Berg hired about 140 new employees and increased operations in Panama City from one shift to two. The company imports steel plates to its plant primarily by ship from shareholders in Germany and ships its finished product to customers via the Bay Line Railroad.
Berg sales director Jonathan Kirkland attributed the company’s recent success to continued support from the port, the company’s local vendors and its dedicated employees.
“The activity at both Berg and the port will remain strong as we are booked well into 2016 on a two-shift operation,” Kirkland said. “We have a positive outlook on the large-diameter pipe market and continue to see interest in natural gas pipeline projects as far out as 2017 and 2018.”
Berg is one of three major tenants at the port, along with Oceaneering, which manufactures steel umbilicals used in oil and gas drilling, and Enviva, formerly Green Circle, which exports wood pellets produced at its plant near Cottondale. The port’s bulk cargo exports of wood pellets also increased last year, rising from 720,000 tons to 783,000 tons.
Additionally, Port Panama City saw a revival in copper shipments this year, one of its largest imports, after a slow year in 2014. Copper imports grew from 252,000 tons last year to 348,000 tons in 2015, rebounding to trump 2013 copper imports, which came in at 335,000 tons.
Source: Panama City News Herald