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07 Dec 2017

Major Ports register positive growth of 3.46% during April-November, 2017

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"Shri Nitin Gadkari says India making its presence felt on the global maritime map Major ports in India have recorded a growth of 3.46% and together handled 439.66 Million Tonnes of cargo during the period April to November, 2017 as against 424.96 Million Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of previous year. For the period from April- November 2017, nine Ports (Kolkata (including Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai, JNPT and Kandla) have registered positive growth in traffic. Cargo traffic handled at Major Ports: · The highest growth was registered by Cochin Port (17.93%), followed by Paradip (13.13%), Kolkata [incl. Haldia] (12.64%), New Mangalore (7.07%) and JNPT (5.69%). · Cochin Port growth was mainly due to increase in traffic of POL (25.15%) and Containers (10.46%). There was decrease in traffic of other Liquids (-26.24%), Fertilizer Raw Materials (-23.33%), Finished Fertilizers (-11.76%) and other Misc. Cargo (-1.19%). · In Kolkata Port, overall growth was 12.64%. Kolkata Dock System (KDS) registered traffic growth of 4.33%. where Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) registered positive growth of 16.70%. · During the period April to November 2017, Kandla Port handled the highest volume of traffic i.e. 72.03 Million tonnes (16.38% share), followed by Paradip with 64.97 Million Tonnes (14.78% share), JNPT with 43.26 Million Tonnes (9.84% share), Mumbai with 42.33 Million Tonnes (9.63% share), and Visakhapatnam with 40.95 Million Tonnes (9.31% share). Together, these five ports handled around 60% of Major Port Traffic. · Commodity-wise percentage share of POL was maximum i.e. 34.02%, followed by Container (19.89%), Thermal & Steam Coal (13.07%), Other Misc. Cargo (12.37%), Coking & Other Coal (7.47%), Iron Ore & Pellets (6.58%), Other Liquid (4.22%), Finished Fertilizer (1.28%) and FRM (1.10%). The Ministry of Shipping has taken significant strides in the last three years to make India’s presence felt on the global maritime map. Various steps have been taken to provide a robust legislative framework, create capacities, impart skills to people, and create an enabling business environment for growth of the maritime sector in the country. Recently, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation laid the foundation stone of a Rs 970-crore International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) at Cochin Shipyard Limited, which will make Cochin a global ship repair hub. Giving boost to the maritime sector under Sagarmala, a world class Center of Excellence in Maritime and Ship Building (CEMS) is also being set up with campuses at Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai, which will provide industry-relevant skill development, equip students with employable engineering and technical skills in the port and maritime sector. These steps have resulted in India gaining prominence in the global maritime arena. In the recent elections to the IMO Council India secured the second highest number of votes and was re- elected to in Category-B, that is states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. The IMO Council consists of 40 member countries. Shri Gadkari described it as a proud moment for the country."

24 Nov 2017

Defence Of Andaman &Amp; Nicobar Islands Exercise (Danx-17)

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"Defence of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Exercise (DANX) was conducted under the aegis of Andaman & Nicobar Command. The five day exercise started on 20 Nov 2017 and culminated on 24 Nov 2017. From the planning stage onwards, joint planning and integrated approach was adopted for synergistic application of forces. Main objective of the exercise was to practice & validate procedures and drills of all the Command forces aimed at defending Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Accretional forces from the main land including fighters, Special Forces, Naval ships and heavy lift transport aircraft participated in the exercise. The highlights of the exercise were fighter ops, night para jumps at sea, slithering of troops from helicopters and amphibious landings of troops by ships. After the exercise the Commander-in- Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command applauded all the four Components for their synergistic planning and precise execution of the Command plans and urged all to focus on the take-aways from the exercise for being fully prepared for any eventuality in future."

23 Nov 2017

Centre approves over one lakh crore rupees worth Highway and Shipping Projects for Tamil Nadu

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"Nitin Gadkari says under Prime Minister’s initiative permanent solution for water starved Tamil Nadu on the anvil Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that the Centre has approved projects of value of more than one Lakh crore rupees for Tamil Nadu. These projects will cover the Highways, Shipping and Port and for finding a permanent solution to the irrigation and drinking water requirements of the state. The Minister was addressing a joint press conference with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Shri Edappadi K. Palaniswami after a review meeting of Central and State government. Shri Gadkari, announced 40,000 crore rupees worth of Road and Highway projects approved at the meeting today. He outlined the proposed projects with details of the financial outlay. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Eddapadi K. Palaniswamy said that the meeting was fruitful and thanked the Union Minister for largely accepting projects and programmes put forward by the state government. Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, Shri P. Radhakrishnan and Tamil Nadu Transport Minister Shri. M.R.Vijayabhaskar, senior officials of Centre and State governments also attended the meeting. Focussing on the decongestion of Chennai Traffic, Shri Gadkari said Three New Elevated Corridors have been approved first being the Tambaram- Chengelpatu at a cost of 2250 crores, Poonamalee- Maduravoyal Corridor with an outlay of 1500 crores and the Tiruvallur Corridor budgeted at 1000 crore. He also said that Tambaram- Vandalur ,Vandalur -Guduvanchery section of the Highway will be upgraded to 8 lane Highway with a budget of 72 crores which will also solve the traffic congestion at the Tambaram -Perungalathur bridge. The Chennai- Bengaluru Expressway is being taken at a projected cost of 20,000 crore rupees and will boost industrialisation and development activities along the Express way. The Minister requested the state Government to earnestly take up land acquisition, shifting of utilities to help timely starting of the project. The Minister said to ease the congestion in the extended suburban areas of Chennai, approval has been given for six laning of the Koyambedu- Poonamalee -Wallajahpet road at a cost of 1500 crores. Listing the new projects to be awarded this year, Mr Gadkari said Tiruchi-Chidambaram Highway project is being taken up with a budgeted outlay of 4000 crore, while the Villupuram- Nagapattinam section is being upgraded at a cost of 6000 crore rupees. Other projects to be approved include Chennai- TADA (500 crore). Elaborating on the Bhartmala project that links port terminals to the hinterland, he said six projects are being taken up the major one being Nagapattinam to Tuticorin (355 kms ), Madurai- Kollam (62kms) Vellakoil-Erode (71kms), Madurai-Natham (38kms), Madurai -Theni(44kms) and Musiri -Namakkal (44kms). Along with these, the ring road development will be taken up in Madurai, Tiruchi and Salem. Rs. 2000 crore has also been sanctioned to the State PWD to develop the Dindigul-Kottampati road into a National Highway. 1300 kms of State Highways are being upgraded to National Highways in the state. The state highways being upgraded include Perambalur- Attur (55kms), Salem-Vanniyampadi (141kms), Thoppur- Mettur-Erode (85kms),Tirupur-Ottanchatiram (91kms). In a bid to, reduce traffic accidents, the Centre is funding 2300 crore rupees to take preventive measures in 61 identified black spots where there are frequent accidents take place. The Minister said the DPR for Madurai, Coimbatore and Salem bus ports – terminals with the latest facilities like an airport will be prepared and the report will be submitted soon. On the Shipping front, the Minister said Tamil Nadu is only state with three major ports and said these would be enhanced to facilitate exports and industrialisation, and value addition under the Sagarmala programme. Coal movement from Orissa through Paradip to Ennore and Tuticorin will significantly reduce the logistics cost of coal. He hoped to improve the coal handling productivity in all three ports. Coastal movement of petroleum products, LPG and automobiles is the lifeline of the industry of Tamil Nadu. Referring to Tuticorin port, shri Gadkari said the depth is to be increased from the present 14m to 16.5 meters at a cost of Rs.3000 crore rupees and this would help the port to handle 1,30,000 tonnage vessels from the present capacity of 60,000 tonnage ships. This would reduce the logistic cost by 30 percent. He said coastal movement of containers from Chennai to Puducherry will commence soon and this would reduce the congestion on this road sector. The Minister said a Passenger ferry services between Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram and between Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram are being planned and urged private operators to come forward and participate in the project, stating that the centre would provide full support. Coastal berths are being built at Cuddalore at a cost of Rs 115 crore and similar facilities are coming at Chennai and Tuticorin ports. The Minister said that as the Prime Minister has assured a doubling of income of farmers by 2022, the present NDA government has taken up the interlinking of river projects and has given priority to the water scare southern states. The Minister said Water resources ministry has therefore decided on transfer of surplus Godavari river waters to the Cauvery via the Krishna and Pennar Rivers. He said a meeting of the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu will be convened soon to discuss the project. Initially about 300tmc of water is proposed to be lifted from Godavari river upstream of Pollavaram project and would be released into the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam on River Krishna. Further the water would be taken from Krishna upto Somasilam project on river Pennar and from there to Grand Annaicut on the Cauvery."

21 Nov 2017

World Class Center of Excellence in Maritime and Ship Building to come up in Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam

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"CEMS to provide skilled manpower for ship building and maritime sector A world class Center of Excellence in Maritime and Ship Building (CEMS) is being set up by Ministry of Shipping in collaboration with Siemens and Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) under the Ministry’s flagship Sagarmala Programme. CEMS will have campuses at Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai, and will provide industry-relevant skill development, equip students with employable engineering and technical skills in the port and maritime sector and contribute to the Government of India’s ambitious Sagarmala programme. Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation had announced this at an event in Cochin last week. CEMS is being set up to meet the domestic skill requirement in ship design, manufacturing, operating and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), and aims to become an international nodal centre in South Asia, attracting students from neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia for skill development in the Port and Maritime sector. This initiative also adds to the Make in India and Skill India efforts in the maritime sector. CEMS will provide skilled manpower to make vessels for inland waterways, ships, fishing boats and other ancillary manufacturing sectors. Siemens-a private sector entity is contributing technology, expertise and 87% funding for the center which is being made at a cost of Rs 766 crore.This is the first time such an in-kind grant is being made by Siemens in India. Siemens has also worked with state governments in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh on skilling initiatives. The Ministry of Shipping’s financial contribution is towards capex for procuring of machinery, creation of classrooms, workshop and labs etc., and is a one time-non recurring grant of 50.07 crore. An equivalent amount has been raised by Indian Register of Shipping. The land and building for Vishakhapatnam campus has been provided by Indian Maritime University (IMU) and that for Mumbai campus by IRS. CEMS will be run by Siemens for two years and thereafter by a Special Purpose Vehicle (a Section 8 nonprofit Company) promoted by IRS. Siemens will handhold this SPV in the third year. CEMS will have a unique hub and spoke delivery model providing industry relevant courses and creating a self sustaining platform. The training will be of two types: full time and co-curricular training (i.e along with regular courses in ITI and polytechnics and engineering colleges). The centre would operate on an open technology platform and provide scalable, modular and independent self learning interactive modules based on Digitally Advanced Interactive System. The total capacity of the COE is 10,512 students per year and the centre will offer paid courses for both domestic and international students but with fees far less than the current fees in the market. It is expected that CEMS will become a global hub for quality skill development in the port and maritime sector and provide skilled manpower for India’s ship building and repair industry. "

20 Nov 2017

Impact of Brexit on Britain's maritime industry

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"A report to be released next week reveals the sector now accounts for more a million direct and indirect jobs nationwide. With £54billion worth of business, it now equals Britain’s other manufacturing giant, the motor industry, and dwarfs security, defence and aerospace. Experts say that, given the right government support, the industry is “close to being Brexit proof”. The report by lobby group Maritime UK predicts that the sector will overcome any sluggishness caused by Brexit uncertainty to grow by 15 per cent by 2022. A separate survey, also by Maritime UK, found that 62 per cent of the world’s top 100 maritime industry leaders have stated they are “likely or very likely” to make the UK their home after 2019. It comes ahead of talks in Downing Street tomorrow aimed at encouraging the Government to follow Singapore’s example in supporting the industry with new initiatives and investment. One of the key demands will be for Britain to buy UK made military and civilian vessels, instead of importing them from countries such as South Korea, heralding a “ship building renaissance that even Singapore can’ t match”. Maritime UK chairman David Dingle said Britain’s global position had been founded on maritime trade and industry and that its position as the world’s maritime leader would only grow with the right support. The concentration of maritime service businesses, including insurance, brokering, law and financing, as well as London housing the International Maritime Organisation, make Britain a “magnet” for the maritime sector. Speaking on the eve of International Shipping Week Mr Dingle, also chairman of Carnival which operates cruises for P&O, added: “The UK is a highly resilient maritime centre. We’ve recently undertaken a survey of 100 maritime leaders – CEOs and chairmen of businesses within the sector – and 62 per cent said they would be likely or very likely to choose the UK as a base for new business. “Bearing in mind this is a highly competitive world with aggressive Asian rivals, I think this is a very good number.” Tomorrow’s talks between maritime industry leaders, Theresa May and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox will focus on Government investment and competitive tax rules. Top of the list will be a “buy British” procurement strategy for shipping. “We want to encourage Government procurers of military and civilian vessels to buy British. This will create a ship building renaissance in this country,” Mr Dingle said. “It may cost a little more to build a tanker here than in, say South Korea, but the economic trickle down will be immense. For every job created directly by the maritime sector, five more are generated in other sectors. It means the industry accounts for a million jobs today. The talks are aimed at encouraging the Government to follow the business model set by Singapore “If we get it right we’ll extend our civilian and military vessel building capacity. It is an opportunity that not even Singapore can match.” Industry leaders will also ask the Government to reform its tonnage tax. The levy allows ship owners to pay rates based on capacity rather than operating profits, and making rates more attractive will help Britain compete with “less globally competitive” nations such as Greece, which are hampered by EU state aid guidelines. Other items will include boosting training of seafarers by £15million and building a Marine Research Development Centre which would fuse academia and industry to make the most of British innovation."

17 Nov 2017

Shri Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone for Cochin Shipyard’s Rs 970-crore International Ship Repair Facility

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"* The facility will double the number of ships that can be repaired every year Shri Gadkari also laid foundation stone for National Highways project in Munnar The Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that Cochin is all set to become a global ship repair hub. He was speaking at Cochin today, after laying the foundation stone for a Rs 970-crore International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) for Cochin Shipyard Limited. The facility is being built at Cochin Port Trust where CSL has leased out a 40-acre plot for the project. The International Ship Repair facility will be a State of the Art facility that can handle a major chunk of small and medium sized vessels plying in India. CSL will set up a ship lift system of size 130 m x 25 m with lifting capacity of 6000 tonnes and 6 work stations. The facility can repair up to 85 vessels, and CSL will thereby be almost doubling the number of ships that can be repaired every year. Pointing out that this facility will help boost India’s share in commercial ship repair market, Shri Gadkari said that the industry will also generate about 6000 direct and indirect jobs, besides giving rise to a number of ancillary industries in the state, thus having a multiplier effect on employment and economy. Shri Gadkari also inaugurated the conference Build The Ship – 2017 organized by the Ministry of Shipping in Cochin today. The event deliberated upon the recommendations of a study regarding the growth strategies for promotion of Shipbuilding, Ship Design, Ship Repair and Marine Ancillaries in India. At the conference the Minister announced the start of Center of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding (CEMS), a start up in skill development for maritime and shipbuilding sector. CEMS will have campuses at Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai. It is being set up by the Ministry of Shipping in collaboration with Siemens under the flagship programme Sagarmala. CEMS will provide industry-relevant skill development, equip students with employable engineering and technical skills in the port and maritime sector and contribute to the Government of India’s ambitious Sagarmala programme. It will help meet the domestic skill requirement in ship design, manufacturing, operating and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and aims to become an international nodal centre in South Asia, attracting students from neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia for skill development in the Port and Maritime sector. This initiative will also add to the Make in India and Skill India efforts in the maritime sector. Shri Gadkari unveiled the logo of CEMS at the launch event in Cochin today. A joint venture b/w CSL & HDPEL- Hooghly Cochin Shipyard Ltd. ( HCSL) has been incorporated with CSL 74% and HDPEL 26% shares in HCSL. A Shareholders agreement was signed between CSL and HDEPL at the conference today, for taking over manufacturing facilities of HDEPL in Kolkata. With this, CSL is setting the stage for revival and strengthening of maritime heritage in Kolkata. Shri Gadkari also visited Munnar today, where he laid the foundation stone for rehabilitation and upgradation of NH 85 from Bodimettu to Munnar to two laned with paved shoulder. The 42 km project has an estimated cost of Rs 380.76 Crores."

10 Nov 2017

Pakistani Shipbreaking Yard Closed

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"This is the same floating oil production tanker that blew up on 1 November last year – an explosion that caused the death of 31 workers and seriously injured at least another 58 workers. Fortunately, reports seem to indicate that no workers got caught in the flames of yesterday’s fire on the ACES. After having been left untouched and unbroken in the same yard since last year’s catastrophic explosion, the Pakistan Department of Environment gave permission last week for the continued breaking of the ACES. Shockingly, on the very first day that the breaking commenced, a massive fire broke out again as the oil residues inside the tanker had not been removed. While there have been no reported fatalities or injuries as a result of the fire, yesterday’s event goes far in demonstrating the Pakistani Government’s negligent attitude towards workers’ rights and safety, as well as enforcing proper environmental standards. “Clearly, no lessons have been learnt from the series of tragedies that have hit Gadani in the last year”, says Dr Muhammad Irfan Khan, member of the NGO Shipbeaking Platform’s Board. “More investments are sorely needed to ensure institutional capacity build-up. For the industry to be allowed to continue operating in Pakistan, authorities need to guarantee the protection of shipbreaking workers and the enforcement of existing environmental regulations”, he adds. Following the major blast on 1 November 2016, dubbed the worst tragedy in shipbreaking history and caused by several gas cylinder explosions, workers have over and over rallied in Gadani to protest against the deplorable working conditions and the lack of Government support in enforcing safety and occupational health laws. Evidently, by authorising the breaking of the ACES to commence again, without having even ensured that the tanks were cleaned, Pakistani authorities blatantly ignore workers’ calls as yards are allowed to return to business as usual and perpetuate the industry’s violent legacy. The appalling working conditions at Gadani are well-known, yet European ships are still being sold to Pakistan for breaking. In the third quarter of 2017 alone, seven ships – five German, one Greek, and one Norwegian – were sold to the Gadani beach for breaking. NGO Shipbreaking Platform “It is shameful that European ship-owners benefit from a situation where worker’s lives are continuously put at risk. Unless the yards are moved to industrial platforms away from the tidal beach where the safety of workers and the containment of pollutants can be ensured, we do not recommend the breaking of ships in Pakistan”, says Ingvild Jenssen, Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “How many more accidents and deaths at the Gadani beach is the global shipping industry ready to accept?”, she adds. Following yesterday’s fire, the Deputy Commissioner of Hub District – Mr. Mangal – set up an inquiry committee to look into to the EPA approval to resume breaking of the ACES and sealed the shipbreaking yard where it is beached. The Platform urges the Government to ensure that end-of-life ships are dismantled in safe and clean ship recycling facilities off the beach. Only then will safe working conditions and the protection of the coastal environment from pollution be safeguarded."

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