|.: 4-Jan-2020 :.
|Hambantota embarks on development drive|
The present regime led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is committed to facilitating and promoting investments that suit modern business needs in the Hambantota District. Prospective investors will be encouraged to obtain the maximum use of the untapped investment opportunities in the Hambantota District.
First-time investors can contact sources at the Board of Investment (BOI) branch in the 12-storied building of the Hambantota Port for further information on business opportunities and the investment climate in Hambantota. The BOI has several initiatives to reduce the time taken for the approval process and resolve issues of investors efficiently thereby assisting investors to navigate the necessary administration processes at the shortest possible time. These consist of several high-level committees which meet at regular intervals to accommodate investors needs with the sole purpose of expediting cross-functional representation of the BOI which immediately screens all investment applications jointly across the relevant departments to grant approval expeditiously.
Any project which needs further clearance on operational issues will be referred to this high-level committee which is chaired by a senior advisor to the Prime Minister. The matters requiring policy-level interventions are referred to this committee chaired by the Secretary to the Treasury for speedy resolution.
The Hambantota Port faces the southern Indian Ocean with easy access to the international shipping routes about 10 nautical miles away. This international port is a joint venture between China Merchants Port Holdings (CM Port) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Its development covers an area of 11.51 square kilometres. Sources at the Hambantota branch of the BOI said the following are the investment opportunities in Hambantota Port.
Break-bulk terminals, container terminals and RO terminals and ship repair, ship chandling, warehousing for export-oriented manufacturing, heavy industries that require port and jetty facilities, export-oriented oil refinery, a power plant and a cement plant are included in the Hambantota Port.
The BOI office situated at the ten-storied administration complex provides all necessary information for prospective investors exploring available investment opportunities or seeking to expand their investment portfolios.
Cashew apple is a waste product in the industry at the moment. Syrup or juice could be extracted and canned or bottled to produce a ready-to-serve drink. Its juice can also be converted into cashew wine by fermentation, and all waste material coming from the processing of juice or wine could be converted into vinegar.
Large-scale cashew processing has not been currently undertaken in the Southern Province. Large-scale cashew processing is undertaken in Colombo and its environs to which cashew nuts are sold in bulk; small-scale, domestic-level processing of cashew is carried out in the Hambantota and Matara Districts.
The bulk of cow s milk produced in the Hambantota District is sold elsewhere for processing, pasteurising and sterilising using modern technology. Only a small portion of milk is used by producers in the southern region to produce yoghurt and ready-to-serve drinks using simple modern technology.
In a few fruit-processing centres found in the southern area, mango and wood apple are processed into ready-to-serve drinks and jams. However, the bulk of this raw material is sold to large fruit-processing factories in Colombo and its environs.
The existing cold storage facilities in the Hambantota District are not sufficient, and hence, there is a great potential for the establishment of ice plants and cold storage facilities in the the District. Not only the fisheries industry serving internal markets, but also the exporters of fish and other marine and aquatic products require these services. In addition, the processing industries which produce fruit and agricultural products too require cold storage facilities.
Hambantota is the central and ideal base to be promoted as an international location for eco-cultural tourism. The districts surrounding Hambantota too have sites to complement each other and maximize the use of time, energy and money.
The Hambantota District possesses all ingredients necessary for the promotion of eco-tourism. Tourism here is not just sun, surf and sandy beaches; variety is the keyword. The diversity of nature is most apparent in the abundant nature and wildlife reserves and sanctuaries. Bird watching and observing wildlife are other attractions that are extensively available, but not yet fully developed or exploited. This potential will awaken investor interest.
The historic and prehistoric monuments and ruins in Mulkirigala, Devinuwara, Sithulpawwa, Tissamaharama, Buduruwagala, Kataragama and Kirinda and the colonial monuments such as the fortresses and towers in and around Galle, Matara and Hambantota add attraction to the area.
The Yala and Bundala national parks and Lunugamwehera Sanctuary are located in and around Hambantota. The historical sites of the Ruhunu dynasty, the Hindu Kovil in Kataragama, Buddhist temples, sylvan shrines, hot springs in Madunagala and the blowhole are all clustered near and long the borders of the Hambantota District.
The Madunagala hermitage is situated on a rock within the Karabagala and Madunagala forest reservations about 20 kilometres away from Ambalantota on the road to Suriyawewa via Koggala. Originally, this area was known as Mahapelessa.
The present regime under the leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken special steps to boost the tourism industry in Hambantota that was neglected by the previous government which only made the country debt-ridden.
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|DP World starts new expansions of Egypt s Sokhna Port|
The Ein Sokhna port, an affiliate of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), has received a Dutch ship carrying 8 winches to be used in the handling of containers in the second basin terminal.
A statement issued by SCZone on Thursday said the port received last months 4 winches belonging to the DP World which enjoys concessions at the Sokhna port quays.
The statement added that the delivered winches are of the most advanced types and can carry loads weighing up to 41 tons, pointing out that the new winches would help improve stevedoring activities at the port.
It said the new machines serve DP World plans to double the size of container operations at the Red Sea port after the China Harbor company finishes its work on expanding the second basin terminal at costs of 560 million dollars.
"Basin 2 Container Terminal" is set to start operation in March and should double the port s capacity to 1.75 million containers annually, from a current 970,000.
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|PSA s Chennai terminal, first among old BOT operators to migrate to new rate regime|
Singapore s PSA International Pte Ltd run Chennai International Terminal Pvt Ltd (CITPL) has become the first among a batch of 16 older private container terminals to opt for a new rate regime announced last year basis which it has won a small rate hike from the tariff regulator while retaining most of the other major charges.
In March last, the government issued new rate setting norms for older build, operate and transfer (BOT) terminals such as CITPL operating at major ports, removing most of the flaws in the earlier rate regime that was at the centre of many legal disputes between the major ports and the terminal operators.
"CITPL welcomes the initiatives of the government in issuing the 2019 guidelines which will help in addressing most of the long pending issues faced by the older BOT operators. The 2019 guidelines will encourage the BOT operators to invest more in the port sector and serve the trade," CITPL said.
CITPL has also signed a separate agreement with Chennai Port Trust, agreeing to migrate and abide by the 2019 tariff guidelines.
The Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has approved an application filed by CITPL to raise the reefer charges by 10 per cent due to electricity tariff increase from ₹5.80 to ₹8 per unit and to hike the charges for hazardous and out of gauge (OOG) containers by 12.5 per cent.
TAMP has also endorsed CITPL s plan to extend the free storage period for direct port delivery (DPD) containers to 15 days to encourage DPD cargo moving directly to factories. The new rates will be valid till August 2022.
The rates at CITPL was were last revised by TAMP in January 2012 based on the tariff setting norms of 2005, whereby it had ordered an across the board reduction of 12.23 per cent over the then prevailing rates when the terminal asked for a 15 per cent raise. The rate cut was stayed by the Madras High Court on a petition filed by CITPL and allowed it to levy the old rates. The case it yet to be decided.
While approving the rate revision application filed by CITPL, TAMP has left undecided the treatment of surplus/deficit arising during the period of litigation.
Such surplus/deficit, if any, will be subject to either the orders of the respective courts or as per the treatment to be collectively decided by the Ministry of Shipping (MOS), the Major Port Trust concerned, the BOT operator and TAMP, according to the 2019 rate setting norms.
The Shipping Mministry is yet to take a call on a draft policy framework for deciding the treatment of past period surplus/ deficit, over and above the admissible costs and permissible return arising during the period of litigation in respect of BOT operators who have approached various High Courts and have obtained stay on the operation of the last tariff order passed by TAMP.
"While approving the rates as proposed by the CITPL, it is intimated to CITPL that whenever the Hon’ble High Court of Madras passes order disposing of the writ petition nos. 11010 and 11011 of 2012 paving way for treatment of surplus/ deficit or a decision from the MOS is received on the treatment of surplus/ deficit, whichever is earlier, the tariff of CITPL approved now would be subject to review then, so as to capture the impact of the surplus that has accrued during the period of litigation," TAMP wrote in the order.
Among the new rules framed by the Ministry on setting rates for older terminals, the most significant is to allow these older cargo terminals to set rates for services to the extent needed for meeting their annual revenue requirement (ARR).
The ARR (a cap) will be the average of actual expenditure for the past three years plus 16 per cent return on capital employed (ROCE). The 16 per cent ROCE will be calculated on gross fixed assets - a departure from the earlier practice of computing the return on the net block of assets. It also includes capital work in progress and working capital.
The rate set by using the new guideline will be valid for three years and will be indexed annually to the wholesale price index (WPI), a measure of costs, to the extent of 60 per cent.
Under the 2005 rate guideline, the returns diminished with each passing year due to depreciation since it was worked out on the net block of assets. Servicing the royalty/revenue share pay outs to the port trusts in the face of declining returns had rendered their facilities unviable, the older terminals had argued.
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|Ctg Port handled record 3,807 vessels in 2019|
The main seaport of the country, Chattogram Port (CP) achieved new record by handling 3,807 vessels in 2019 while in 2018 CP handled 3,747 vessels. It may be mentioned that in immediate last year, CP achieved records of nearly 30 lakh TEUs containers.
A total of 30 lakh 88 thousand 197 TEUs containers and 29 lakh three thousand 996 TEUs containers handled in 2019.
On the other hand port handles 10 crores 30 lakh 77 thousand 735 metric tons cargo in 2019 and cargo handled 9 crores 63 lakh 11 thousand 224 metric tons in 2018, Secretary of CP Mohammad Omar Faruk told the news agency.
Port sources said the container carrier vessels takes berthing in inner berths from outer berth depending on tide and ebb tide of the sea.
Mentionable that bulk cargo vessels are berthed in outer anchorage and the open cargos like rice, wheat, salt, crude oil, cement clinkers and industrial raw materials etc are delivered to the different storages, silos, port sheds through lighter vessels.
President of Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association Ahsanul Hoque Chowdhury told the news agency that if the lightering of bulk cargos are done by large vessels, the handling cost and the stay time of the vessels may be minimized.
In that case the cost of doing business will also be minimized largely. He said if any vessels stay at outer berths more than schedule time, shipping agents are compelled to pay US dollar 10-15 thousand per day.
He hoped after commissioning of Bay Terminal, large vessels will directly take berth in the terminal without waiting for tide or ebb tide.
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|In 2019 Ukrainian sea ports handled more than 1 million TEU containers|
At the end of 2019, Ukrainian sea ports exceeded the volume of container transshipment of 1 million TEU for the first time in the last 10 years. Last year, container ships arrived at the ports Pivdennyi and Odesa on December 30 and 31.
According to the operational data of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority, for the whole of 2019, one million and three and a half thousand TEU containers were handled in the ports (TEU is a conventional unit of measurement based on the volume of a 20-foot (6.1 meters) intermodal ISO-container). This is more than 18% higher than in 2018.
Transshipment of container cargo in Ukraine for the second year in a row shows significant growth, which is several times higher than the average world figures in the container transport market. Now four private container terminals are successfully operating in Ukrainian ports, which plan to develop their capacities in 2020. The corresponding memoranda and agreements were signed between USPA and the subsidiary of the German company ННLА Container terminal Odesa, as well as the third largest container line in the world CMA CGM together with the Ukrainian company Brooklyn-Kiev, - said the Head of USPA Raivis Veckagans. According to him, this gives reason to expect further development of container transport, especially due to the transit of containers and the inclusion of Ukraine in the routes of the Chinese Silk Road and the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA), the first cargo on which began to be delivered in 2019.
Export and import of containers in the past year were distributed almost equally due to the advantage of imports - 48.6% and 46.8%, respectively. The positive dynamics of exports is provided by increasing containerization of food and light industry products (processing of agricultural raw materials - flour, wheat, peas, textiles). The growth of container cargo imports is traditionally influenced by the strengthening of the hryvnia, which makes it more attractive to supply food, machinery and electronics, construction materials and other goods from abroad.
The transit of container cargo is still significantly inferior in the volume of imports and exports and is only 46.4 thousand TEU. However, in 2019, it showed impressive growth rates, increasing by 42% compared to the previous year.
The leader in transshipment of containers in Ukraine is the terminal of CTO SC in Odesa, followed by another terminal of the Odesa port - Brooklyn-Kiev Port, TIS-CT in the port Pivdennyi and Ilyichivsk Sea Fishing Port in Chornomorsk.
In 2019, 15 largest shipping companies, which account for 99.5% of the total volume of containers, carried out ship calls to the sea ports of Ukraine. The top three are Maersk Line, CMA CGM, MSC, which provide more than half of the entire container market in Ukraine (53.5%).
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