India's Shipping Sector

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Vipul
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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Vipul » 26 Mar 2014 05:08

Vivus Global to invest Rs.15,000 cr in shipbuilding facility.

Vivus Global Australia Pty Ltd, an investments and projects company, will invest Rs.15,000 crore to erect a shipbuilding facility along the Konkan coast in Maharashtra at a time when the shipping industry is recovering from the worst glut in decades after a boom in ship orders coincided with the global financial crisis in 2008.

Sydney-based Vivus Global will invest in the shipyard in Ratnagiri district that is to be built by its unit Rajapur Shipyards Pvt. Ltd. The new shipyard has received orders for building 16 ships of different capacities and types worth $1.4 billion, R. Balasubramaniam, managing director of Rajapur Shipyards, said in a telephone interview.In February, Vivus Global had acquired Rajapur Shipyards, an entity that had all the necessary government permits, including the key environment and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances, to set up the shipbuilding facility. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Rajapur Shipyards was founded by Balasubramaniam, a former Indian Navy officer, and Tushar Mehendale, managing director of Pune-based ElectroMech Material Handling Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd.

The project, set to be one of India’s largest infrastructure projects, will be funded entirely through foreign direct investments (FDIs) by Vivus Global. The site where the shipyard is located has a water depth of 16.4 metres, making it the deepest such facility in the country.

The shipyard, designed to deliver 32 large ocean-going ships in a year, will be spread across 1,200 acres. The facility is expected to be ready in 24-28 months.
Vivus Global will also build a township at Rajapur on 450 acres with schools, hospitals, hotels and guest house facilities to cater to some 5,000 families employed at the yard.

“Rajapur is a virgin territory, barren land. Other than Alphonso mangoes, there is nothing,” Balasubramaniam said.“Vivus Global has organized the orders for 16 ships that include oil super tankers, capesize ships, aframax ships, suezmax ships and chemical carriers,” Balasubramaniam said.

“The identity of the fleet-owner who has ordered the 16 ships cannot be revealed at this point. It’s a single owner for a block of 16 ships. The shipbuilding contracts were signed last week, along with eight separate agreements for various infrastructure contracts to build the yard,” he said.

These eight agreements are with firms such as L&T Ramboll Consulting Engineers Ltd, Inspiration, Kirby Building Systems India Ltd and TJ Naik and Co.
The investment in a new shipyard in India comes at a time when most of the local shipbuilders are struggling for orders following the 2008 downturn and are surviving on government-funded naval contracts.

Vivus Global, promoted by S. Ramesh Saligrama, E. Selvam and Anand Ganeshan, with interests in mining and international cross-border finance, leveraged buyouts and equity investments in global companies, is moving into infrastructure development.“Instead of financing someone else, they are financing themselves,” Balasubramaniam said.

The project is the first such in India to be implemented on such a huge scale. “We are executing the project on a so-called concurrent engineering model wherein the construction of the shipyard and the ships will be done on parallel tracks. This means, the day the shipbuilding facility is ready, the first of the ships will be getting ready for delivery,” Balasubramaniam said.

The Rajapur yard will focus on three major segments—commercial ships, naval ships and oil drilling rigs capable of operating in deep waters. “We have hired 600 engineers of all discipline through campus selection,” he said.

“India is not in the big league of shipbuilding nations. Our capability is limited to building smaller ships. Our aim is to reverse that trend. We plan to set up two yards each on the east and west coasts of the country,” Balasubramaniam added.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby arun » 23 Aug 2014 13:31

X Posted from the “Oil & Natural Gas: News & Discussion” thread.

Reliance Industries to import 1.5 Million Tonnes p.a. of Liquified Ethane from the US via 6 Very Large Ethane Carriers for which it has placed an order:

RELIANCE EXPANDS FEEDSTOCK SUPPLY OPTIONS FROM NORTH AMERICA FOR ITS CRACKERS IN INDIA

Mumbai, August 20, 2014: The Shale Gas industry, in North America has grown exponentially in the past 5 years. As a result Ethane has become the dominant feedstock for crackers replacing liquids. Reliance’s investments in Shale Gas and its existing crackers portfolio in India are a natural fit for sourcing Ethane from North America and shipping it to India to attain long term feedstock competitiveness. Reliance is implementing a project to source 1.5 MMTPA of Ethane from US to feed its crackers in India.

Reliance has now executed storage and capacity agreements for liquefaction and export of ethane with a North American Terminal, which is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2016.

For the purpose of transporting liquefied ethane to India in a safe and cost efficient manner, Reliance has ordered six state-of-the-art Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs) which will be the largest vessels ever built in the world. The ships are expected to be delivered starting last quarter of 2016 in synchronisation with the readiness of terminal in North America.

Reliance is also building a world-scale receiving and storage facility in India for liquefied ethane and pipeline to deliver ethane to our crackers.

Reliance will be upgrading its crackers to maximize cracking of Ethane, have maximum operational flexibility and capability to optimize feed stocks with complete control of supply chain.

The project will significantly improve the long term competitiveness of our cracker portfolio through dedicated feedstock, enhanced margins, higher capacity and end-to-end integration.


See here:

RIL Press Release

Above press release confirms earlier story of RIL ordering 6 VLEC's which when published was neither confirmed by RIL or Samsung Heavy Industries :


South Korean Samsung Heavy Industries to build world's first very large ethane carriers for Reliance

Singapore (Platts)--15Aug2014/622 am EDT/1022 GMT

South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries is blazing the trail in shipbuilding having won a $723 million contract in July to build six very large ethane carriers for India's Reliance Industries Ltd., several industry sources said Friday, August 15.

The vessels of 87,000 cubic meters each, will be the world's first very large carriers of ethane. RIL was targeting the long-haul US-produced ethane to feed its cracker at the Jamnagar refining and petrochemical complex in Gujarat on the west coast of India, sources said.

The cracker will be commissioned in the second half of fiscal 2016-2017, running from April to March, the company had said. It will nearly double RIL's ethylene production capacity to 3.3 million mt/year.

A Samsung Heavy Industries spokeswoman said it had won a contract to build gas tankers, but declined to confirm the vessel type, or the company that placed the order.

The RIL spokesman did not respond to queries.


Link is below:

Platts

Vipul
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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Vipul » 13 Nov 2014 13:14

South Korea’s STX offers India LNG shipbuilding technology.

South Korea’s financially troubled shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd has agreed to lend technology to three Indian shipyards to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers locally, ending India’s search for an experienced global partner to get started in this business. The first objective is to win a tender issued by GAIL (India) Ltd for hiring nine LNG ships; the second is to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ mission.

GAIL, India’s state-run natural gas firm, will not order the nine ships directly at shipyards. It plans to hire the carriers for 20 years starting September 2017 from fleet owners who will have to construct three of the nine ships in India, as per a 1 August tender. The price of the ship is crucial for ship owners, a big factor in calculating the daily hire rates, which is one of the criteria for deciding the contract. Prospective bidders are required to quote for lots of three vessels with a provision that in each lot, one of the vessels shall be built in an Indian yard. The tender condition, designed to help Indian yards enter the LNG shipbuilding business, was written in the wake of a directive issued by the oil ministry that controls GAIL.

None of the top yards in South Korea and Japan that qualify for the GAIL tender showed interest to share technology with local yards such as Cochin Shipyard Ltd, L&T Shipbuilding Ltd and Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Co Ltd before the original deadline ended on 30 October. GAIL has now extended the deadline for submission of the techno-commercial bids to 4 December to help Indian yards find a technology partner. STX’s offer, confirmed by at least two people briefed on the plan, is a relief for local shipbuilders who were on the brink of missing the government-backed opportunity due to lack of technology.

STX and the three local yards, though, will have to wait for a few more days before finalizing the technology tie-ups because the Jinhae, South Korea-based yard does not qualify to build the LNG carriers according to the tender conditions stipulated by GAIL, a shipping ministry official, one of the two persons mentioned earlier, said. He did not want to be named because the plan has not been made public yet. “GAIL will have to relax the financial criteria for yards to allow STX to participate in the tender and build the LNG carriers,” said an executive at one of the three local yards and the second person mentioned earlier.

He, too, declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the issue. This executive said that STX, once South Korea’s fourth largest yard, had built LNG carriers, but its eligibility for the GAIL tender has been hit by its recent financial troubles. The yard opted for a voluntary normalization programme by creditor banks (equivalent to India’s corporate debt restructuring exercise) in 2013 after being hit by falling ship prices in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008.

South Korean banks have since pumped $7 billion into the yard to help normalize operations. Korea Development Bank, which now owns 97% of the yard and is its main creditor bank, has submitted a comfort letter to the shipping ministry stating that it would support the yard in building the LNG carriers for the GAIL project, the ministry official said.

STX has said that many fleet owners were willing to build six of the nine LNG carriers required by GAIL at its facility and if the tender conditions are relaxed by GAIL to allow the yard to compete, it would share technology with Indian yards to construct the remaining three LNG carriers locally as stipulated by GAIL, the official mentioned earlier said.

An LNG carrier costs more than $200 million to build from scratch in today’s market. STX, which is undergoing restructuring including selling overseas units and lay-offs, is eying the GAIL project as it seeks to put the yard back on track. “STX has experience in constructing LNG ships,” said a Mumbai-based consultant tracking the LNG shipbuilding sector.

“It makes sense for GAIL to relax the criteria. That’s exactly the sort of solution required for Indian yards to enter the niche business.” STX could not be reached immediately for comment.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Vipul » 13 Jan 2015 04:43

Centre considers redefining Mumbai port’s limits to allow Reliance port’s right of way.

The Union government is weighing a proposal to re-define the limits of Mumbai Port Trust to help Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Logistics and Ports Pvt. Ltd get the right of way for a shipping channel and break the logjam over a new port the firm plans to build at Rewas in Maharashtra’s Raigad district on the country’s western coast with an investment of over `6,000 crore.

One of the key features of the planned port is that it will have a 27.75km-long and 300m-wide exclusive approach channel for the traffic meant for Rewas, located a few kilometres from Mumbai port. This would ensure minimal waiting time for ships in the channel.However, 17km of the 27.75km-long navigational channel of Rewas falls within the limit of Mumbai port, one of the 13 owned by the Union government. Mumbai port has to agree to share this portion of its water with the new port to allow free passage of ships calling at Rewas port to load and unload cargo.

The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), the state government agency tasked with developing its ports, had earlier requested Mumbai port to grant the right of way to Rewas port for developing an approach channel through Mumbai port’s waters for 17km.

Mumbai port said the issue of giving permission for an approach channel to Rewas port within its limits would depend upon both sides agreeing to certain terms and conditions. “In spite of several rounds of discussions, Mumbai port and Rewas Port Ltd could not mutually agree to the terms and conditions for the right of way,” a Maharashtra government official briefed on the matter said, asking not to be named. Mint couldn’t ascertain the terms and conditions.

The Maharashtra government has now approached the Union government for allowing delimitation of existing port limits of the Mumbai Port Trust so that the development of Rewas port can be taken up, minister of state for shipping P. Radhakrishnan told Parliament on 11 December in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

“Delimiting the port limits of Mumbai Port Trust will help solve the right of way issue,” a spokesman for MMB said. “Redefining the limits of Mumbai port will help Reliance immediately start dredging the channel and constructing the new port, which has been delayed by over six years,” this person said, adding that the planned port has secured all statutory approvals including the key environment clearance.

Reliance Logistics and Ports, a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), holds a 55% stake in Rewas Ports Ltd, the company formed to develop and operate an all-weather deep-draught (depth) port at Rewas. Jai Corp. Ltd has a 10% stake in the port venture while Amma Lines Ltd holds a 24% stake. The balance equity of 11% is held by MMB.

A spokesman for RIL directed queries to Jai Corp., which in turn directed them to Rewas Ports Ltd.“There is nothing common between the channels of Rewas and Mumbai ports,” said a spokesman for Rewas Ports Ltd. “Ours will be an independent channel which will be dredged and maintained by us. The water on which a portion of the shipping channel is to be bored was given to Mumbai Port Trust many decades ago by the Maharashtra government. Coastal water is a state subject. But when they are requested to reciprocate by giving some portion of the water back to the state government for developing Rewas, Mumbai Port Trust is not reciprocating,” he added. “Right of way is a key issue that has blocked the development of Rewas port,” the spokesman added. “A delimitation of Mumbai port limits will solve the problem.” This has been done in the past.

“There are precedents on delimitation in other Union government-owned ports such as Kolkata and Kandla,” a spokesperson for the shipping ministry said.The previous United Progressive Alliance government had rejected requests for delimitation of Mumbai port limits, he added.

The first phase of the new port to be constructed on inter-tidal and government land, involving nine cargo-handling berths with a capacity to handle 66 million tones (mt) of cargo a year, was to start operations on a 50-year contract beginning October 2010. An agreement to develop and operate the port was signed in 2002. MMB has transferred 839 hectares of inter-tidal zone (ITZ) land required for the project to Rewas Ports Ltd.ITZ is the area between the land and sea that is covered by water at high tide and uncovered at low tide. The ITZ land given to the port developer should be used only for port and allied activities, according to the port privatization policy of the Maharashtra government.Rewas will have facilities to handle containers, dry and liquid bulk, general cargo and automobiles.

In the second phase, Rewas plan to add 16 more berths, taking the total cargo handling capacity to 198 mt. In the third and final phase, the port’s master plan provides for adding 45 more berths, expanding the total capacity to 457 mt. :shock: (This more then twice the combined tonnage achieved by the largest Pvt Sector Port Operator Adani who has 5 ports in India).The port will have a depth of 14.5m in the first phase, which would be increased to 16m in the second and 20m in the third phase.

India, Asia’s third biggest economy, plans to raise cargo handling capacity at its ports to 3.13 billion tonnes by 2020 from 1.16 billion tonnes with an investment of `3 trillion, according to the shipping ministry.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Vipul » 19 Mar 2015 07:46

Cochin Shipyard in pact with Samsung Heavy Industries.

After several months of talks, state-owned Cochin Shipyard Ltd has succeeded in getting South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd to share technology for building liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers at its yard in Kochi. The move prepares Cochin Shipyard to make itself eligible to bid for a tender to be issued by GAIL (India) Ltd in early April, at least two people briefed on the plan said. GAIL needs nine LNG carriers to haul natural gas from the US to India beginning December 2017.

“Cochin Shipyard has signed an agreement with Samsung Heavy Industries to collaborate on building LNG ships,” a shipping ministry official, one of the two persons mentioned earlier said, asking not to be named because the deal has not been made public yet due to a non-disclosure clause signed by the two parties. A spokesperson for Cochin Shipyard declined to comment. Samsung Heavy Industries, the world’s top manufacturer of LNG carriers, could not be reached immediately for comment.

With this, Cochin Shipyard becomes the second local yard to secure a technology tie-up for LNG ships from one of the three top shipbuilders in South Korea, the world’s top shipbuilding nation. L&T Shipbuilding Ltd, a unit of Larsen & Toubro Ltd, has signed a non-disclosure agreement with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd to collaborate on building LNG carriers, Mint reported on 5 February 2015. The tie-ups are the result of hectic lobbying by India to get technology from overseas specialists in the field.

India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had lobbied at the diplomatic level with the South Korean government during a visit to Seoul in December 2014 to help inexperienced Indian yards get the technology to build the ships locally. GAIL had decided on 17 February to scrap a tender to hire the LNG carriers from fleet owners due to lack of response from bidders. The tender had stipulated that at least three of the nine LNG ships that GAIL planned to hire from fleet owners for 20 years must be built at local yards, a factor which shipping industry executives believe discouraged bidders from participation.

The tender condition, designed to help Indian yards enter the LNG shipbuilding business, was written in the wake of a directive issued by the government as part of the Make in India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. GAIL had given time until 17 February for bidders to put in their techno-commercial quotations. Local yards, which have never built LNG ships before, need technological tie-ups with South Korean and Japanese specialists to become eligible for constructing the LNG tankers. The Make in India campaign aims to transform the country into a manufacturing powerhouse, boosting exports by incentivizing import substitution.

GAIL is now considering splitting the tender into two with one tender for hiring six LNG carriers that are to be built at overseas yards and the second for three ships to be constructed locally, according to a shipping industry executive privy to the plan. “However, splitting the tender will hurt India’s chances to build the three ships locally,” the shipping industry executive said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. “Because the six-ship tender will attract a lot of bidders while the three-ship tender will find no takers due to concerns over ship price and quality. It is better for GAIL to re-issue the tender with the same conditions as in the earlier one to ensure that India gets a foot-hold in the LNG shipbuilding market,” he added. The planned ship hiring tender of GAIL will be India’s biggest.

The nine LNG carriers would cost a combined $2.5 billion to build from scratch for fleet owners. GAIL will have to spend an estimated $7.5 billion to hire the nine ships over a 20-year period, according to the shipping industry executive mentioned earlier.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Sachin » 03 Jun 2015 21:50

Things do not look good for Kerala, and its nefarious politicians *
Vizhinjam port project may move to TN if Kerala delays: Gadkari
Adani Group is the only part who have given their tender to the current GoKL. The current government is favouring Adani, since there are no other bidders. The government wants to get started on the project, as it is not expecting any other bidders to come forth. It seems, they have tried that before. But the opposition (the "progressive & liberal") commies have plans to scuttle the plan.

And when this happens, GoTN under command Amma, has plans to explore Kolachel area (which should be very close to the Vizhinjam area) to see if a port can be built there.

* and my personal favourites, the commies ;).

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby arshyam » 03 Jun 2015 22:31

Hmm, plausible. Colachel comes under the Kanniyakumari LS constituency, which is now represented by Pon Radhakrishnan, who holds the junior post in the Road Transport and Shipping ministry. Plus, there is this:

'Study on Colachel Port to be Over in 2 Weeks' - New Indian Exp, 25th May 2015
The feasibility study on Colachel port in Kanyakumari district will be ready within two weeks, said Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan said here on Sunday.

“So far, the study indicates a green signal,” he added. Once the port is commissioned, large foreign vessels will be able to berth there and would not need to go to Colombo. This would reduce transportation costs of exports.

However, for the entire project including inland container ports, large areas of land would have to be acquired in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Madurai and Virudhachalam districts, he said.

The Minister was speaking at a meeting here on “Strategies for Making Indian Textile Industry Globally Competitive”, organised by the Texpreneurs Forum, South India Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Karur Exporters Association, Erode Textile and Garments Exporters Association, PDEXCIL, Sripuram Trust, NIFT-TEA and Tamil Nadu Autolooms Cloth Manufacturers Association.

He assured the textile entrepreneurs that they would be taken to New Delhi in July to meet the ministers concerned individually to discuss the issues they brought to his notice at the meeting.

He also called for a conference to be organised in New Delhi in the next couple of months to give wide publicity to the “dollar city” of Tirupur.

He urged the entrepreneurs to look beyond the textile industry and come forward and to implement the infrastructure works at Colachel port to compete better in the global market.

Radhakrishnan himself is trying to get implemented at least one infrastructure project like a bridge or road in every Parliament constituency in Tamil Nadu during his five-year tenure.

“Manufacturing is BJP government’s agenda. The sector was not given enough consideration by the earlier government. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi is laying the foundation for its growth,” said BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao, who was also a guest of honour at the meeting.

“The BJP government has successfully completed one year, but leaders of opposition parties are making comments against it. I take their comments as compliments as people have high expectations from the Narendra Modi government,” he added.


I understand this is meant to be a deep water port, and removes/reduces the need for trans-shipment through Colombo, and that's true for Vizhinjam as well. Question is, can both ports exist so close to each other and be viable? Also, without rail links, neither of these ports will make a significant dent, a good amount of rail infra needs to be built - double tracks, freight terminals, etc. Hope that's part of the plan.

If done right, these projects can transform southern TN and reduce migration to gulf, etc. as there is not much industrial activity in this area now. Maybe leverage MakeInIndia for some exports by siting factories nearby to take advantage of the geography. Probably true for Kerala as well, but I will leave that for our gurus from Kerala to comment on.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Theo_Fidel » 03 Jun 2015 22:50

^^^
For this to work the Sethu project will have to be completed. Without that all these ports will suffer.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby arshyam » 03 Jun 2015 22:56

Theo sir, do you mean to say that these ports are intended to just replace Colombo as transhipment harbours, with smaller ships bound to/from the east coast ports from here? Then yes, they don't have much of an advantage over Colombo, but what if the goods are transferred to rail wagons and sent inland? I was under the impression that this is the plan.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Bade » 03 Jun 2015 23:05

Colachel has a significant advantage over Vizhinjam its proximity to NH-7.

Maybe Vizhinjam can be used as an extension to the Kochi naval base at the tip in the south.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Sachin » 04 Jun 2015 06:47

arshyam wrote:I understand this is meant to be a deep water port, and removes/reduces the need for trans-shipment through Colombo, and that's true for Vizhinjam as well. Question is, can both ports exist so close to each other and be viable? Also, without rail links, neither of these ports will make a significant dent, a good amount of rail infra needs to be built - double tracks, freight terminals, etc. Hope that's part of the plan.

Yes, the plan was to remove the transhipment at Colombo. This it seems was adding to the overall delivery costs and also delayed. Vizhinjam was said to be a real natural harbour, which can accomodate large ships. For Vizhinjam there is a plan to extend railway lines to the port area. So that was taken care. But if Vizhinjam is kind of scuttled by the 100% literate, then Kolachal may be the next choice. TN has a knack of getting these done ;). And I don't think Vizhinjam and Kolachal can co-exist and both remaining profitable/viable.

Theo_Fidel wrote:For this to work the Sethu project will have to be completed. Without that all these ports will suffer.

Vizhinjam & Kolachal in Google Maps. Correct me if I am wrong here. Currently large ships do no land up at Colombo by cutting across the Ram Sethu. I guess they come in by circling the Island (or from the Western side and reach the port directly). Both Kolachal and Vizhinjam are on this same western side (see the map), so the plan would be to welcome large ships directly to these ports. I guess if TN wants to develop Thoothukudi as a major port, then yes we would have to get the Ram Sethu sorted out. Or else no big ship can access Thoothukudi directly, and would have to go around Sri Lanka, bye pass the Colombo port (on the right), Vizhinjam/Kolachal on the left side and then move towards Thoothukudi.

Bade wrote:Maybe Vizhinjam can be used as an extension to the Kochi naval base at the tip in the south.

Gadkari has quite vehement on the fact that a port in that area is a must (as per the report). So I guess there could be strategic implications identified as well. GoI should go for the most viable approach, and focus on building the port where there is maximum support from the respective state government - be it KL or TN.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Suraj » 04 Jun 2015 07:32

It's disappointing to see Vizhinjam port project flounder like this. At one time Vallarpadam ICTT and Vizhinjam port were being spoken of as parallel port projects. Vallarpadam has been in operation for years now with its next phase development planned, while Vizhinjam is still on the drawing board.Thanks to the lack of the progress on the Vizhinjam project, we continue to hand over business to Colombo port.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Sachin » 04 Jun 2015 09:56

News reports about the Vizhinjam Port plans..
Bid to torpedo Vizhinjam project: CPI(M)
As per the commie leader Vijayakumar, the torpedoing is done by getting the Vizhinjam Port done under the Public-Private-Partnership model. As per him the previous communist government wanted to try the "land lord" model (I like this, communism and land lord model) in which the land remains with the government, private party just gets right to use the land and operate the port.

Achuthanandan opposes handing over proposed Vizhinjam port to Adani
Comrade Achu Mama is more direct. He just does not want Adani (who he feels is a right hand man of Modi) any where near Vizhinjam. But the current minister K.Babu said that it was during Achu Mama's tenure that the government had approached Adani to see if they are interested.

Make Adani terms public: CPI (M)
Com. M.A Baby comes out with some numbers to say how the current contract terms would be very favourable to Adani. I am surprised that if it was such a favourable tender, why no other port builder even took this up. Adani Ports was the only company who even participated in the tender.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Peregrine » 10 Jun 2015 21:05

Adani Gets Nod for Vizhinjam Port, to Begin Work in November

Thiruvananthapuram: The Vizhinjam Port proposal has been finally cleared with Adani Ports to launch the work on November 1, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday.

"We have decided to clear the project and it has been decided to hand it over to the lone tender of Adani Ports," Mr Chandy told reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting.

"We announce to the people of Kerala that on November 1, which is Kerala's formation day, the work for the Vizhinjam Port will begin and nothing is going to stop this dream project from going ahead," Mr Chandy said.

Last month, two different committees that looked into the only proposal submitted by Adani Ports for setting up the Vizhinjam Port near Kovalam, a beach town, had given go-ahead.

Vizhinjam, when completed, will enable ships with a capacity of even 18,000 TEU (20-feet equivalent units) to dock here.

The proposed port, located close to the busy international shipping route, is envisaged to handle 4.1 million containers annually.

The Rs.4,000-crore first phase of the port is expected to be completed in three phases, with the first phase being ready by 2019.

Adani Ports was the lone bidder and had sought Rs.1,635 crore as grant for the proposed port project.

Cheers Image

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Sachin » 14 Jun 2015 09:06

On Vizhinjam, I don't think the commies would just give up like that. The only time commies were happy about Vizhinjam was when a Chinese company tried to get the deal. But the central Home Ministry scuttled that plans. One way is to keep sending repeated signals that Kolachal is always an option (may be small time development can happen there as well), and if the commies act too smart 100% literates can forget Vizhinjam. The commies are really on the defensive at the moment, as people generally have come to agree that they are anti-development.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Bade » 14 Jun 2015 19:10

More than the commie ghosts :-) that seems to be in some people's imagination, there are other more serious issues. The Vallarpadam ICTT (run by DPW) has not been doing roaring business either, so I wonder what will Vizhinjam add to all this, even though I always welcome any capital investment into Kerala.

Maybe, now Colachel (old local war glory and all) can get some Indian Naval investments, sitting right next to the shipping lanes :-) sniffing out China bound ships.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby arshyam » 14 Jun 2015 20:10

Bade wrote:Maybe, now Colachel (old local war glory and all) can get some Indian Naval investments, sitting right next to the shipping lanes :-) sniffing out China bound ships.
True that. IN needs an offensive presence in this area, and the existing infra is not going to cut it. The nearest detachment will be at Lakshadweep, Kochi currently being a training command. Now that Vizhinjam is on its way to become a port, a commercial Colachel port may not be viable in such close proximity. In such a case, converting this into an IN base will be useful. Though not at the scale of Karwar, a medium sized base like that in Porbandar might be possible and help us keep an active eye on the shipping routes near here. In long term, I think the IN will convert the SNC at Kochi into an active command, and Colachel can be one of its dedicated assets.

I think there was a mention earlier on this thread that currently Vizhinjam lacks rail connectivity (G maps shows the rail line between Nagercoil and TVC to be 10-15km) inland - is there a possibility of fixing that? (Land, built up area, etc.). In the long run, a port needs rail connectivity, and such a strategically located port without a rail connectivity will not realise its potential depending only on road transport. Knowing Adani, he will definitely want such a connectivity (Mundra had built its own rail line to connect to the IR network), but land acquisition in Kerala seems difficult, and having privately built rail lines might not sit well with the LDF types.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby chetak » 14 Jun 2015 20:26

Theo_Fidel wrote:^^^
For this to work the Sethu project will have to be completed. Without that all these ports will suffer.


The sethu project is a millstone around India's neck. The constant silting and the consequent maintenance of the channel itself to keep it navigable will be horrendously expensive. The channel will also appreciably slow down traffic so the throughput will not be what is expected.

One single, solitary accident in the channel itself will shut it down for long periods of time.

best to leave this puppy strictly alone.

TR baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalu thought that he was going to be set for life by investing in some dredging company and getting the long term contract for dredging this channel. The whole thing is a scam and the money is in the dredging end and not in the commercial exploitation of the channel per se.

The whole thing has been camouflaged with a religious color. Folks have missed the actual details which make it nonviable, viz the heavy, constant and eternal silting.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby chetak » 14 Jun 2015 20:30

arshyam wrote:
Bade wrote:Maybe, now Colachel (old local war glory and all) can get some Indian Naval investments, sitting right next to the shipping lanes :-) sniffing out China bound ships.
True that. IN needs an offensive presence in this area, and the existing infra is not going to cut it. The nearest detachment will be at Lakshadweep, Kochi currently being a training command. Now that Vizhinjam is on its way to become a port, a commercial Colachel port may not be viable in such close proximity. In such a case, converting this into an IN base will be useful. Though not at the scale of Karwar, a medium sized base like that in Porbandar might be possible and help us keep an active eye on the shipping routes near here. In long term, I think the IN will convert the SNC at Kochi into an active command, and Colachel can be one of its dedicated assets.

I think there was a mention earlier on this thread that currently Vizhinjam lacks rail connectivity (G maps shows the rail line between Nagercoil and TVC to be 10-15km) inland - is there a possibility of fixing that? (Land, built up area, etc.). In the long run, a port needs rail connectivity, and such a strategically located port without a rail connectivity will not realise its potential depending only on road transport. Knowing Adani, he will definitely want such a connectivity (Mundra had built its own rail line to connect to the IR network), but land acquisition in Kerala seems difficult, and having privately built rail lines might not sit well with the LDF types.


Any port has to have rail connectivity for it to be viable. A solution will surely emerge in the fullness of time, by project completion time lines. Even the normally stoopide unions in kerala cannot be so stupid.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Theo_Fidel » 14 Jun 2015 20:53

chetak wrote:The constant silting and the consequent maintenance of the channel itself to keep it navigable will be horrendously expensive. The channel will also appreciably slow down traffic so the throughput will not be what is expected.


This is how Rotterdam port is run. I believe it is still the largest port in the world. Daily dredging keeps the channel open, it is not a particular challenge with modern equipment or particularly expensive. With no large river silting problems will be less. It will be done one day because the cost of rounding Sri Lanka is many orders of magnitude more horrendous... ..mean time we dither and Columbo port prospers...

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby chetak » 14 Jun 2015 21:17

Theo_Fidel wrote:
chetak wrote:The constant silting and the consequent maintenance of the channel itself to keep it navigable will be horrendously expensive. The channel will also appreciably slow down traffic so the throughput will not be what is expected.


This is how Rotterdam port is run. I believe it is still the largest port in the world. Daily dredging keeps the channel open, it is not a particular challenge with modern equipment or particularly expensive. With no large river silting problems will be less. It will be done one day because the cost of rounding Sri Lanka is many orders of magnitude more horrendous... ..mean time we dither and Columbo port prospers...


Theo,

google for an article and report by john jacob puttur. He is an ex IN hydrographer. Quite sensible and knowledgeable. He is an expert in this area. The economics of rotterdam and that of the sethu project are at very wide variance. Fuel costs for rounding colombo, as you say, are not really that much to justify the project and the maintenance costs of dredging. The shallow contours of the area are enough to cause silt damage, don't always need a river. :)
The environmental impact is also quite grave. The little ports that will be built on this coast per plan is not even going to make a small dent in the colombo traffic. If I remember right, ships of 30,000 DWT or below would use the channel. Today's ships are all much larger and faster. they would have to run at a slow speed thru the channel and that will consume the same or even more fuel due to increased time. no captain really likes to sail in restricted waters. It's high tension time. They may just opt to go around colombo. It's just a few hours more of sailing time and at the most 5-10 tons more of diesel. Ships may not use the channel at night or during bad weather. Doesn't that area see both the monsoons and also cyclonic weather on it's way to bangladesh??

Many ports are dredged daily. In bombay, there is constant dredging but the taxpayers pay that cost.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby chetak » 14 Jun 2015 23:30

Setusamudram Ship Channel Project -- where is it headed?


By Commander John Jacob Puthur, Indian Navy (Retd.)

Summary

In conclusion, I must submit that it is rather presumptuous to compare Sethusamudram canal with Suez or Panama. Those canal save over ten thousand nautical miles of passage for the vessels, and also accommodate larger DWT vessels. For a vessel coming after a long ocean passage of thousands of nautical miles few hundred saved may make little difference to the overall profitability of the shipping industry to warrant a traverse through a narrow canal almost in 'open sea' at a rather slow speed of 8 knots. Such a low speed traverse with dangerous shallows on either side will hardly be a pleasant experience for the master of the vessel, whatever may have been the outcome of the ship-manoeuvring studies.

Finally, I must again submit, let the dredging go on, as that's the only way to test of siltation of the dredged areas. I think it's a price worth paying to get to the grips of the phenomenon of coastal sediment dynamics in a monsoon regime that has eluded many a marine scientist and coastal engineer in India. The canal's outcome will be the proof of the theory, either way!

I have been studying the phenomenon for a long time now. We can actually solve the siltation problems of many a port along our coast. While siltation problem of ports can be mitigated to a very great extent I doubt whether there will be such possibility for the Sethusamudram Ship Canal itself, that is, just in case they decide to go ahead in spite of siltation.

To the best of my understanding the canal will silt and go on silting, so long as it is being maintenance dredged. But, if they do choose to shelve the project once the siltation becomes apparent, no one will notice any difference on the seabed. The nature will restore itself in next to no time. Environmentalists on either side needn't get too worried, at least for a while…

At the outset, a 90 nautical mile transit through a narrow canal, just 300 metes wide, constrained by shallow depths either side, and at a slow speed of 8 knots would make a warship 'sitting duck'. Such a passage, nearly 12 hour long, virtually defenceless, so close to waters of another state, let alone the underwater dangers due to shallows either side would be sufficient to give jitters to any captain or fleet commander. It is lot safer to traverse through deeper waters with sufficient sea room when the warships can move at top speeds, even if that meant a slightly longer passage and some extra fuel. Moreover, both our coasts have independent fleets that are reasonably well equipped to deal with all the contingencies along their respective coasts without having to summon resources from the other fleet at short notice and that too frequently.
Therefore, Navy has little to gain from Sethusamudram Canal.

But sure enough it will increase Navy's workload considerably. A canal such as this is highly susceptible to offensive 'mine-laying' by the enemy. In fact, mines can be laid by number of ways that are indeed extremely difficult to detect - from air, from small fishing boats, and even merchant vessels. Therefore, minesweeping in the canal would become Navy's routine task, particularly during periods of tension. Say, if a merchant vessel does run over a mine, in addition to the environmental consequences, the canal itself would be sealed off for days if not weeks to clear the wreck.

Even a deliberate sinking of a rusted old trawler within the canal, probably as an act 'nautical terrorism', can seal off the canal for days. And if that should happen unnoticed, the matter would come to light only when a larger laden vessel runs over the wreck. The consequences can be catastrophic. Thus guarding the 167 kilometres long canal would be an immense burden on the Navy, Coast Guard, and perhaps on a special maritime police specially created for the guarding the canal. Has anyone considered the costs?

In any case such a force would be necessary in to counter yet another threat such canals face - the threat of piracy. All canal, river or narrow strait transits of ships have spawned pirates. Slow moving vessels close to land are an easy prey to attacks by pirates. Examples abound - our own very Hoogly River transit to the Port of Kolkotha, Malacca Strait and many other river or canal transits in the East and Fareast. The pirates arrive in small speedboats to board the slow moving vessels using ropes and grapnels. Usually they cart away whatever they find on deck, coils of ropes and such other items, but there are also number of cases when crew have been attacked and other valuables stolen. A special force duly aided by several navies, including our own, deals with the piracy problem at the Malacca Strait. There is little doubt that Sethusamudram Canal will also spawn a new breed of pirates, and perhaps some of them may be used to fund terrorism on either side. The cost of dealing with this problem will no doubt be huge, and rightly should be termed as operational cost. Has that been considered?

Whatever then may be the environmental or security impact; there is little doubt that the Sethusamudram Canal would adversely affect local fishermen. Their work and also the their area of operation will be restricted due to increased shipping activity. In addition, these poor fishermen will be subject to harassment on account of frequent security checks. The harassment of fishermen by Navy and Coast Guard along Saurashtra Coast post 1993 Mumbai blasts is a matter hardly discussed in the press but very real indeed for those poor folk. Along with harassment on security grounds, these fishermen also suffered serious economic losses due to blatant confiscation of catch by those involved in ensuring security - fence eating the crop. I have written about this matter to the concerned long ago to highlight the issue after being an eyewitness to one such incident, notoriously called 'fishex' within the Navy.

There's little doubt that the livelihood of local fishermen would be affected with cascading effect on the local economy. The EIA reports have only harped on the marginal reduction in fish productivity due to the canal, hence anticipate little impact on the local fishing industry. But the fish productivity is not the only factor that affects the local fishing industry.

Environmental impacts aside, the economic impacts due to the canal are not altogether favourable, both in the short and long term, which should justify such a huge expenditure for creating the canal. It is anybody's guess that there are other motives for going ahead with the canal.

Dredging is not an industry known for ethical business practices. Most of what they do happens underwater, away from any probing scrutiny. Only a hydrographer and the concerned dredging team would know the actual volume dredged, for working out payments. Here there's enough room for manipulation with least chances of detection. No one would question variations in depths up to 0.2 metres, but that would make immense difference to dredging cost. With roughly 90 kilometres of canal being dredged to a width of 300 metres, the dredging cross-sectional area is 27 million square metres. And if there were a difference of just 0.1 metres in dredged depth it would mean a dredged volume of 2.7 million cubic metres. The average cost of capital dredging for this project is Rs. 208/- per cubic metre. Therefore 2.7 million cubic metres of dredged volume would mean a difference of Rs. 56.16 crores, and for 0.2 metres it would be Rs. 112.32 crores. There's no way anyone could question this. Yet more manipulations can be done that will also belay easy detection.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby chetak » 14 Jun 2015 23:44

Safety and stability of Sethusamudram Project
Prof.G Victor Rajamanickam is one of the India's eminent coastal geo-morphologists and mineralogists.

Interview with Prof G Victor Rajamanickam

Prof.G Victor Rajamanickam is one of the India's eminent coastal geo-morphologists and mineralogists. And he is an authority in the studies of Tamil Nadu's coastal geomorphology. He has authored innumerable research papers and made substantial contribution in the study of coastal mineral deposits and sedimentation dynamics.

During 1990 and 2000, Prof Rajamanickam had organized two international seminars on changes in sea level and their effects on the coast. Top coastal mineralogists in India including Dr V J Loveson, Prof N Chandrasekar, Dr N Angusamy and Dr Anbarasu have been his students.

Prof Rajamanickam, till recently, was heading the School of Earth Sciences at the Tamil University, Thanjavur. He currently heads the Department of Disaster Management at the SASTRA Deemed University, Thanjavur.

Prof Rajamanickam has evinced keen interest in the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel since the early eighties. Having analysed the high sedimentation in the Palk Bay in the late eighties, he wrote extensively on the need to dig a channel in order to save Palk Bay from becoming a lagoon. More recently, in October 2004, he was invited to deliver a special lecture, Sethusamudram - the lifeline of Tamil Nadu, at a national seminar on Ecological Balance and Sethusamudram Canal, organized by the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Area Studies of Alagappa University.

As for the ongoing SSC project, it is pertinent to note here that the entire section on the Geomorphology of Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report prepared by the Nagpur-based National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has been based on the original research findings and writings of Prof Rajamanickam and his student, Dr V.J.Loveson.

Following is the transcript of the taped interview given by Prof Rajamickam to the editor of the web portal www.sethusamudram.in at Thanjavur on August 10, 2005.

This interview assumes its immense importance on two counts: firstly, in the context of the very first meeting of the High Level Environmental Monitoring Committee for the ongoing Channel Project, held at Chennai on August 9, 2005; secondly, in the context of the stir proposed by fishermen to blockade the project's dredging ship on August 12, 2005, at Palk Strait, to highlight their point that this dredging activity would endanger their entire livelihood.

Question: Professor, can you please tell us briefly about the significant and unique features of the dynamics of the Tamil Nadu coast?

Prof Rajamanickam: Regarding the Tamil Nadu Coast general status, the peculiar transformation of sediment transportation toward landward migration (which is also the phenomenon faced by the peninsular India as a whole) is an important phenomenon to be observed by every one. So, as long as the landward migration is there, there is no need to be anxious about the issues of erosion or deposition in this coast.

The erosion and deposition noted in this coast are due to local geo-morphology and tectonics. Cliff and river mouth convergence are also existent. Convergence creates certain amount of erosion.

However, we have to underline here that the erosion that this coast is facing today is mainly due to the anthropogenic activity of the Madras harbour and the Tuticorin harbour extensions. Tuticorin harbour extension has transformed the coastal stretch between it and Kanyakumari from a coast of sediment deposition into a coast of erosion.

Besides this, we should also note that there is some amount of effect on these coastal processes by the Achankovil Shear Zone, near which the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is fast coming up. This shear zone is always expected to cause upward unevenness, tectonic pressure, which might in turn cause any amount of coastal sinking or uplift.

The recent recurrent entry of Sea, in my opinion, is due to a tectonic lowering or tectonic sinking, which must have acted in line with Andaman fault.

Question: When the Tsunami struck the Indian coast on December 26, your team was already involved in Placer Deposit Studies in the Cuddalore-Vedaranyam coast for one and a half years. Immediately following the Tsunami, your team led by Dr Loveson, one of your old students, identified that the Tsunami deposits were very rich in titanium. Can you please describe this finding in detail?

Prof Rajamanickam: Yes. The coast between Nagapattinam to Nagore, Nagore to Poompuhar, Colachal and Madras were the places where the strong impact from the Tsunami was noticed. These were also the places where a high order of ilmenites was found soon after the Tsunami.

For example in the Nagore coast, the pre-Tsunami heavy mineral content of 14 per cent jumped to 70 per cent of ilmenites after the Tsunami. Such is the spectacular difference between the pre and post-Tsunami estimates. Whatever Zircon, Garnets, Amphebole, Pyroxenes were washed away by the Tsunami from these beaches were replaced and filled with high, denser minerals like ilmenites and magnatites - ilmenites the maximum.

One may take this as a blessing in disguise. Now, titanium is going to give higher revenue to the Government as its cost is increasing everyday - like oil.

We have confirmed the availability of titanium not only in the surface but also its presence in the sub-surface. At Nagore, for example, we had noted that the Tsunami had caused an erosion of two meters; however, titanium sand had replaced this two-meter sand. We have recorded this using the GPR also.

Question: How do you think that the recent Tsunami interacted with the already existing coastal sedimentation regime between Chennai and Palk Bay, and also Palk Bay and Kanyakumari?

Prof Rajamanickam: The Tsunami had completely disturbed the Shelf sediment right from River Krishna down to Kanyakumari. It had disturbed the seabed even up to 200 meters. From the Shelf break, the Tsunami had churned the sediments and brought the material to the coast and had pushed them further upland and while receding had taken back all the fine heavy minerals, fine silts, clays back to the Shelf. So, the Shelf sediments now have a completely new texture after the Tsunami.

If one studies the present sediments, one would be surprised to find the seabed to be a different one now. It is in this regard I feel that we have to undertake a resurvey of our seabed and understand the nature of the sediment present in it. Hence I feel an understanding of the pre-Tsunami sedimentation condition alone cannot work possibly for any modeling.

Question: After the recent Tsunami, the Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies of the Madurai-Kamaraj University (MKU) found that the sedimentation rate in some places of Palk Bay has increased almost by 64 per cent. (The sedimentation rate recorded earlier was 32.5 mg/d in November 2004; it had increased to 53.4 mg/d during the Tsunami). Do you think that the entire Palk Bay would have experienced such an increase in sedimentation rate or would it be that only a few selected areas in Palk Bay known already for higher sedimentation rates had experienced this?

Prof Rajamanickam: The finding of suspension load or sedimentation of 53.4 mg/d is possible because the churning impact of the Tsunami from the deeper depths reminds us that it might take some time - may be even years - to settle back all the churned out clay and silt surfaced by the waves.

Earlier, our own study on the quantification of the sediments at Sethubavachatram had revealed the immense amount of sedimentation that is going on in the Bay.

Question: Do you think that the entire Palk Bay would have experienced such an increase in turbidity?

Prof Rajamanickam: Yes. It would be a general phenomenon throughout the Bay because Palk Bay had also faced the Tsunami. Refracted Tsunami waves had entered Palk Bay.

So, churning (of the sea bed by the Tsunami) must have prevailed there also. It should be remembered here that Palk Bay seabed is only a temporary seabed - I mean, not a consolidated one. It is a seabed made up of dumped sediments. So, the entire dumped sediments to the tune of nearly about 6 to 7 meters should have been churned up by the refracted Tsunami waves. This I feel will take a longer time to settle down in Palk Bay particularly.

Question: Between May 2003 and February 2004, NEERI had studied the bathymetry of Adam's Bridge area. During January-February 2004, NHO had surveyed the entire alignment of the Sethu Channel (north of Adam's Bridge). L&T-Ramboll, the firm which that prepared the SSC's Detailed Project Report (DPR), in its February 2005 report, had suggested changes in the Channel's length and alignment.

The Channel length in the Adam's Bridge area has been increased by about 14.92 km, and the same in Palk Strait by about 0.13 km and the undredged central portion by about 0.32 km. -- thus increasing the total length of the Channel by about 15.37 km. This is about 9.17 per cent increase in the original length proposed by NEERI. The total dredging cost proposed in NEERI's Technical Feasibility Report was Rs. 1595.35 crores. An increase in the length of the channel by 9.17 per cent would increase the cost of dredging by about 146.34 crores.

All these are of course pre-tusnami estimates. In the light of the post-Tsunami sedimentation increase at Palk Bay as reported by the MKU study, are we to expect an increase in the quantum of sediments that has to dredged? In your professional opinion, do you think there would be cost escalation for the project, in this aspect?

Prof.G.V.Rajamanickam: Definitely. Now the dredging level will go high because at least half to one meter of sediment must have been deposited at the Palk Strait by the Tsunami. When you cross through the Palk Strait, the previous bathymetry of 10 meters would only be 9 meters now. So, to reach a maximum of 12 meters bathymetry, you would have to remove one more meter of the sediment. This would definitely lead to cost escalation of the project. The total quantum of sediment to be removed now would be more than the pre-Tsunami estimates. There is no question about it.

A re-survey of the present depth and also the nature of the sediments that the Tsunami had brought in is a must today. Tsunami has brought in a new stratum of sediments. If the pre-Tsunami dredgers approach this now, they would find a quite contrasting change in the nature of the present sediments. Hence, it is always advisable for having a quick look in the seabed now existing after the Tsunami.

It is also a must to assess the expenditure column and the time it is going to take for dredging in this changed scenario.

Question: L&T-Ramboll's DPR has identified the dumping sites for the dredged materials. These sites are said have a depth of 30 to 40 meters and they lie just adjacent to the northern and southern mouths of the Channel.

In an interview to this web portal in July 2005, Canada-based Tsunami expert Prof Tad S Murty has said: " I did some analytical analysis of whether cyclones (and storm surges) and tsunamis can move the dredged material from Palk Bay into the channel. (I have come to the conclusion that) tsunamis can move a significant amount of the dredged material into the channel". Professor, do you think this is as a possibility?

Prof Rajamanickam: See… after having witnessed the Tsunami's impact and its ability to disturb the seabed even in the outer shelf - one should be very careful in choosing the dumping sites.

Further, as I described to you earlier, we have landward migration of the sediments in this part of the coast. The presently chosen depths of 30 to 40 meters as the dumping sites, any monsoon will be able to disturb, leave alone cyclones or a tsunami.

So, unless and otherwise the project people take these dumping sites farther away to deeper areas, I feel, there would not be any solution at all. Whatever you dump, the next monsoon it will be brought back. So, your dredging would be perennial. There won't be any solution, reduction in the dredging.

In the recent workshop on Ecological Monitoring of the Sethu Channel held at Madurai I had projected this opinion.

We should take the dredge materials to deeper areas at least with 50 meters depth. If it is going to be more than 50 meters still better. Also, the project people should not think of dumping at one single point; they should rather spread it over. That is the ideal action to control the landward migration of the dumped materials back.

Question: Professor, here is a small problem! Taking the dredged materials farther away is going to further escalate the project cost…

Prof Rajamanickam: No. I don't think this would increase the cost much when you consider the nature of the slope of the Eastern Shelf. This has a very high slope. So planning to take the dredged materials farther away by about 200 to 300 meters, you would be reaching areas with 20 meters higher depths. When you compare this with the Western Shelf - there, to reach areas with 5 meters higher depths you will have to travel a few kilometers. The Shelf nature is like that.

So, there is no need to be worried about cost escalation when your work is in the Eastern Shelf.

Question: The Indian Shipping Ministry has set up a Monitoring Committee to assess the impact of the dredging activity on the environment and advise the project authorities. The Committee consists of marine biologists and microbiologists besides experts from the fields of fisheries, agriculture. However, it had not considered including sedimentologists, geo-morphologists or meteorologists.

The work on the Channel is progressing with an a priori understanding of the sedimentation situation of the pre-Tsunami period. The project authorities have not attempted a post Tsunami survey of the sedimentation situation before starting their dredging work.

The pre-Tsunami a priori understanding of the Project authorities on the sedimentation and meteorology dynamics of the area had not considered many of the most important sedimentation and meteorological studies done for the area from 1990 to the present.

What do you think would be the consequence to the future of the Project and the coasts around from such a supposedly negligent attitude? Can you suggest a plan to remedy this urgent situation?

Prof Rajamanickam: I have already emphasized, at the recent workshop at Madurai, that the lack of Earth System scientists - I mean, geo-morphologists, sedimentologists, mineralogists, oceanographers, climatologists - team will definitely bring problems to the maintenance of Palk Strait in the future. Theirs is the most important work, as this would occupy 90% of the total necessity in the monitoring work of the possible impact of dredging and maintenance of the project area. The present monitoring team, which comprises scientists from Marine Biology, Fisheries etc., will be able to do only 10% of the total required monitoring work.

Unless Earth System Science teams strongly enter - right from the initial stages to the continued monitoring of Palk Strait - this whole activity will be a failure sooner or later.

It is with this concern in mind myself and Prof T J Pandyan have suggested in the Madurai workshop the Geo-technology team of Manonmaniyam Sundaranar University to be brought into the monitoring committee.

Question: What about including private organizations in oceanography like Indomer Coastal Hydraulics, Chennai etc., into the monitoring committee?

Prof Rajamanickam: Ironically, it is my personal opinion that the private industries - if you give them the pertinent direction - like telling them we want these, these, and these - they will sincerely execute the job.

So, inducting private oceanographers or private parties or researchers is no harm; but they should be given a clear-cut instruction that these are the works that have to done meticulously. If there is any failure on this, the project people should tell them point blank that they will be responsible and will be penalized even. Such an attitude will make them to work properly.

See… Private research companies have already conducted the Biological Survey, Environment and Hydrographic Survey etc., for the Sethu Project. So, why not include them also in the monitoring work?

As for the present, there is absolutely no tool to check whether all the important factors like hydrography, bathymetry, current dynamics, total suspension load, climate changes, sea level alterations etc., that have the ability to affect the Project and the Bay are being monitored in the first place. So, who is going to do that?

Single one measurement of wave and currents and one turbidity measurement will not give you the solution that is required to safeguard the project or its environment.

That is why I was telling in the Madurai Workshop the other day that continuous current monitoring studies, current observations should be done in four places - In the Gulf (of Mannar) 2 places, in the Palk Strait one in the north and one in the south - that is one north of Manamelkudi and the other south of it.

Indomer can of course do wave, current and other studies; but they should be given clear-cut directions. Then there should be some professionally well competent x or y to monitor whether they have completed their work properly.

Question: How about the universities with earth science expertise taking part in the monitoring work?

Prof Rajamanickam: I strongly feel that universities should take a larger role in the monitoring work right from now on - because Sethusamudram Corporation needs manpower; and unless and otherwise the Universities are involved right now, they cannot develop to their requirement, as there would not be any exposure. This would be in the betterment of the Sethusamudram Corporation both in the short and long term alike.

Question: As a veteran geo-morphologist who had spent almost 20 years studying this coastal stretch, what is the right advice you would like to give to the Sethusamudram Corporation?

Prof Rajamanickam: The monitoring system, I mean the High Level Monitoring Committee that the Government had appointed recently, sadly does not have a hydrographer, sedimentologist, geo-morphologist, geologist, coastal tectonics expert, or experts from atmospheric sciences. So, what will this present monitoring committee do?

The fields I have just mentioned are the dominant sciences that are to ensure the safety and the stability of the Sethusamudram Project and its environment. So, I really do not know how this present monitoring committee, which lacks all these expertise, is going to do its required job of ensuring safety and stability to the channel and its environment!

I sincerely feel that the Government should go for experts from these fields of interest, in addition to the experts who are there in the high level monitoring committee. Then only you will have the proper input to see whether the Sethusamudram Channel is functioning well.

Otherwise Sethusamudram Channel will remain imbalanced. It will not give the benefit or the impact for which it had been visualized for the past 150 years.

- Asian Tribune -

Notes:

1. Here are some of the important articles with respect to Palk Bay:

a)Loveson,VJ, and Rajamanickam,G.V.,(1987) "Coastal Geomorphology of Southern Tamil Nadu", in Proc.Remote Sensing in Land Transformation and Management, Hyderabad, p.115-129

b) Loveson,VJ, and Rajamanickam,G.V.,(1988) "Progradation as evidenced around a submerged ancient port, Periapatnam, Tamil Nadu", in Ind.Jr.Landscape and Ekistics Studies, 12, pp.94-96

c) Loveson,VJ, and Rajamanickam,G.V.,(1988 a) "Evidences for the phenomena of emergence along Southern Tamil NAdu Coast through Remote Sensing techniques" in Tamil Civilization, 5(4), pp.80-90

d) Loveson,VJ., Victor Rajamanickam,G., Anbarasu,K., (1990) "Remote Sensing applications in the study of sea level variation along the Tamilnadu coast, India" in G.Victor Rajamanickam ed., 'Sea level variation and its impact on coastal environment", Tamil University, Thanjavur, pp.176-196

e) Victor Rajamanickam,G., Loveson,V.J., (1990) "Results of Radiocarbon Dating from some beach terraces around Rameshwaram island, Tamil Nadu" in G.Victor Rajamanickam ed., 'Sea level variation and its impact on coastal environment", Tamil University, Thanjavur

f) Loveson,VJ., Victor Rajamanickam,G., Chandrasekar,N., (1990), "Environmental impact of micro-deltas and swamps along the coast of Palk Bay, Tamil Nadu, India", in G.Victor Rajamanickam ed., 'Sea level variation and its impact on coastal environment", Tamil University, Thanjavur

g) Loveson,VJ., Angusamy,N and Rajamanickam,G.V., (1996) "Usefulness of identifying different geomorphic blocks along the coast of southern Tamil Nadu", in Ind.Jr.Geomorphology, 1, pp.97-110

h) Loveson,VJ., Victor Rajamanickam.G., "Evidence of Quarternary Sea Level Changes and Shoreline Displacement on the Southeastern Coromandal Coast of India" in Proc. Of the International Seminar on Quaternary Sea Level Variation, Shoreline Displacement and Coastal Environment, New Delhi, 2000

# Palk Bay and Adam's Bridge - Geomorphology and Sedimentation - An Anthology This compilation contains important excerpts from the above mentioned works of Prof.G.V.Rajamanickam.

Seminars:

2)

a) 'Sea level variation and its impact on coastal environment", Tamil University, Thanjavur, 1990,

b) International Seminar on Quaternary Sea Level Variation, Shoreline Displacement and Coastal Environment, New Delhi, 2000


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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Sachin » 15 Jun 2015 13:04

Bade wrote:so I wonder what will Vizhinjam add to all this, even though I always welcome any capital investment into Kerala

Any idea why Vallarpadam was not a successful establishment? Is there any restriction on the type of ships which can berth there? Vizhinjam is supposed to be a natural harbour, where even the biggest of the container ships can berth easily. The Hindu Business line had some information on why the Vallarpadam Port is making huge losses. This report blames mainly on the lack of policies and forward thinking.

arshyam wrote:Knowing Adani, he will definitely want such a connectivity (Mundra had built its own rail line to connect to the IR network), but land acquisition in Kerala seems difficult, and having privately built rail lines might not sit well with the LDF types

There is a plan to have a railway line to Vizhinjam as well.
RVNL nod to extend Railway Line to Vizhinjam Port
Vizhinjam rail link: land to be acquired. We will have to wait and watch the land acquisition.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby chetak » 15 Jun 2015 15:46

Vizhinjam, et al are at best seasonal ports. They cannot be sustained during the monsoons. Utility is very limited. One study suggested utilization as a cruise ship port and /or a marina.
EIA studies show a very negative impact.

take the report below FWIW, the church has already weighed in opposing the project.
.
Viability of Vizhinjam container terminal questioned

Commander John Jacob Puthur, Indian Navy (Retired), in his capacity as a Charge Hydrographer, has said the proposed deepwater container transhipment terminal at Vizhinjam, near here, “is unviable and would in the foreseeable future prove to be an utterly wasteful expenditure and also an environmentally disastrous venture.”

He stated this in a submission before the Expert Appraisal Committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, presently considering the question of giving environmental clearance for this mega project of Kerala government.

He made this submission, copy of which was given to The Hindu on Thursday, on behalf of the Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, Centre for Fisheries Studies, and a non-governmental organisation called Coastal Watch.

Siltation

He said the detailed project report prepared by AECOM India Pvt Ltd. had stated that siltation at the proposed port would be negligible. “This assertion is purportedly based on the extensive model studies that preceded the design finalisation. Yet, it is an easily verifiable fact that the sediments flow down from land to sea, across the coast, along with runoff, which is maximum during the monsoon. The sediments that flow down to sea across the coast normally flow down to the deep seabed unimpeded, yet unceasingly, and practically unnoticed. The proposed breakwater and dredged channel, which as per the design run along the coast, will trap these sediments on their upstream [side]...Therefore, both the basin and the channel will silt, particularly during the monsoon, when the adjoining land gets copious rainfall, generating sediment-laden runoff to the seas…the quantity of siltation can be roughly, yet reliably pegged at about five million cubic metres, [which will correspond to] the quantity to be capital dredged to create the proposed basin and channel [for the port at the very start],” he said, as a Charge Hydrographer who “has been engaged in the study of the Indian Coast and numerous projects on this coast for over two decades,” which also led to the publication of a book titled Untold Story of a Coast .

Dredging impact

“As a modest estimate, the annual maintenance dredging would cost up to Rs.50 crore. From the environmental point of view — what is the impact of dumping so much dredged material off Vizhinjam every year? The project’s EIA does not discuss that issue,” Commander Puthur said. The cost of the inevitable annual dredging involved had not been factored into the calculations by the consultants, nor the environmental impact of dumping the colossal quantity of dredged material in the sea.

Distance to quarry

Among other observations relating to matters overlooked in the EIA report, Commander Puthur said the proposed quarry for sourcing nearly seven million tonnes of rocks required for constructing the breakwater for the port was situated 23 km away from Muthalapozhi Fishing Harbour, a point from where the rocks were proposed to be transhipped to the project site in barges. This harbour was heavily silted up and would require extensive capital dredging after each monsoon during the construction phase of the breakwater.

Monsoon delays

Furthermore, would it be possible to carry out this barge transhipment during monsoon, when the sea turns rough, he asked.

He said the inevitable need to suspend barge operations for at least a third of each year, which would prolong the period of the construction of the breakwater, would increase the cost of construction.

“…if there [is] still some compelling reasons to push the project through…it is submitted that necessary provisions be incorporated into the contracts to hold liable the designers, environmental investigators and those who carried out model studies for any adverse consequences. For example, if the port does eventually silt, can the agency, which had declared that it would not, be held liable to bear the cost of maintenance dredging and also to mitigate the adverse environmental impact,” he asked.


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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby chetak » 15 Jun 2015 16:35

This is the BSNL story all over again.

Union problems, pay offs from colombo and other ports are throwing a spanner into the works by slowing down loading/unloading and custom clearances and the stupidity of rates higher than colombo has only compounded the problems and that cannot be merely coincidental. The baboo(n)s are neck deep in this looting.

Why Vallarpadam terminal languishes


Rate impact Steep charges are one reason why business is dull
No pick-up in business despite Cabotage relaxation
Kochi, August 27:

Even after the relaxation of Cabotage rules, Vallarpadam international container transhipment terminal has not been able to attract more cargo.

Against the target of one million teus (twenty-foot equivalent units) a year, the average throughput was only about three lakh teus. The maximum throughput achieved was 3.5 lakh teus in a year, of which the transhipment volume was less than 27,000 teus. This year, till July, the terminal handled 2.20 lakh teus. The management expects the volume to pick up and the end the year may end with 3.7 lakh teus.

Cabotage relaxation allowed foreign shipping lines to operate feeder service from and to the port. This was expected to attract more mainline ships to call at the port. The dismal performance of the transhipment hub has become a matter of concern, not only for Kochi Port and the terminal operator, DP World, but for all the stakeholders as well.
Infrastructure

The ₹3,500-crore project, intended to reduce India’s dependence on overseas transhipment hubs such as Colombo and Dubai, failed to meet this objective.

Inaugurating the terminal in February 2011, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had described Vallarpadam as a ‘milestone in India’s logistics infrastructure development’. However, the euphoria died down when teething troubles hit port operations.

The Centre had spent ₹1,617 crore to provide infrastructure support including road and rail connectivity, while terminal operator DP World invested close to ₹1,600 crore to set up other infrastructure. Kochi was chosen as the ideal location for India’s first transhipment terminal, citing several favourable parameters, the most important being proximity to international shipping routes.

Initially, the main reason given for the terminal’s sluggishness was the low draft in the basins and Cabotage restrictions. However, relaxation in Cabotage laws last December, permitting foreign lines to carry containers from and to Vallarpadam, seems not to have made any impact on performance.
Recession

Shipping circles point out that factors such as recession in the industry post 2009, lack of interest from mainline shipping lines, labour problems, absence of sufficient cargo support, higher cost of road transport to the ICTT and expansion of the Colombo Port have all impacted the Vallarpadam ICTT’s performance.

A section of port users believe the terminal was also impacted by the high rates charged by the operator. Vallarpadam is costlier than Colombo Port. A top official in Kochi Port said the controversies over jurisdictional control over the ICTT between the Customs and SEZ authorities in the early days also affected transhipment cargo clearance. It took a long time to settle the issue.
(This article was published on August 27, 2014)

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Theo_Fidel » 15 Jun 2015 21:53

chetak wrote:google for an article and report by john jacob puttur


I read commander puttur's comments and I still don't see a cogent argument against the project. Most arguments seem to be WRT the Navy rather than commerce. Yes he did bring out many complications but all large projects have similar complications. If we can build KKNPP in that area I don't see why the Sethu cannot be constructed. The Suez canal is only 150m wide in places and never more the 200m wide and it allows 2 way traffic. The depth can be increased with time. Right now it takes 30-36 hours to round lanka in open waters. Large merchant ships cost $1000+/hr to operate and shallow calm waters will always be preferred and the costs only increase every year making the economics better. Car manufacturers in Chennai have complained about lack of international shiping.

I have absolutely no doubt such a project will be constructed one day, the economics are too compelling. We just have to wait till the light bulb moment….

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Bade » 15 Jun 2015 22:09

Sachin wrote:Any idea why Vallarpadam was not a successful establishment? Is there any restriction on the type of ships which can berth there?

I do not think there are any restrictions from the Naval side that is public. Since DPW is operating it, should have attracted business as it is not the usual PSU kind of issues. There was even reports of an outer habour in planning for Kochi, to avoid the siltation issues. With Vizihinjam now in play, do not know how those plans will move forward. Navy was ok with the outer harbour idea too. Maybe, it is recession related and Columbo has the first mover advantage. I am perplexed by Adani's interest in Vizhinjam when Vallarpadam is not booming. Someone with more insight can chime in perhaps.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Bade » 15 Jun 2015 22:36

Studies by IIT-Chennai and the Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune, have revealed that intensity of sea erosion on the Kochi coast can be reduced by constructing the breakwaters. “With the construction of two breakwaters, around 2,600 acres of land can be developed at the Puthuvypu area and 650 acres at Fort Kochi. The breakwater near Fort Kochi will be connected with a bridge to the mainland,” Paul said.
....
The annual silting in Cochin Port is 21 million cubic metres and with the construction of breakwaters the cost of annual dredging can be reduced.

Cochin Port Trust eyes petrochemical complex after outer harbour project

Two year old news item...
Cochin port plans Rs.40,000 cr oil refinery and oil trading hub

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Sachin » 16 Jun 2015 10:02

Bade wrote:I am perplexed by Adani's interest in Vizhinjam when Vallarpadam is not booming. Someone with more insight can chime in perhaps.

+1. Adani is not a fool to kind of sign up for this deal, if he does not know the whole story. And he was the only person who had the guts to even accept the tender. Others did not even bother to respond. So either Adani has got a clear cut vision for Vizhinjam, or else he would not be the only loss maker. The state and central governments may lose out, or they have assured him a bail out if things go wrong.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Suraj » 16 Jun 2015 10:29

I'm tempted to avoid portraying Vallarpadam as a failure a this point. It's three years old now. Tanjung Pelepas had about the same container throughput 2-3 years post its own inauguration. Once you have a port in place, how successful it is or not, is entirely about the infrastructure and industrial base feeding it. You don't necessarily need an SEZ producing products to be exported, but it helps. Yangshan port in Shanghai and Yantian in Shenzhen both benefited from the SEZs and industrial base generating export volume growth.

As to Vizhinjam vs Vallarpadam, Cochin probably has a larger industrial base and catchment area feeding container loads. Vizhinjam's main plus point is supposedly its natural deep harbour, and the fact that it lies very close to international shipping lanes. I cannot answer the 'why Vizhinjam if Vallarpadam isn't fully utilized' question. I don't know enough about the topic. Two ports, each of >1M TEU capacity, so close to each other, seems unnecessary, because Kerala itself isn't very industrialized , and also lacks efficient container traffic channels taking feed from any other catchment area.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby chetak » 16 Jun 2015 22:35

Theo_Fidel wrote:
chetak wrote:google for an article and report by john jacob puttur


I read commander puttur's comments and I still don't see a cogent argument against the project. Most arguments seem to be WRT the Navy rather than commerce. Yes he did bring out many complications but all large projects have similar complications. If we can build KKNPP in that area I don't see why the Sethu cannot be constructed. The Suez canal is only 150m wide in places and never more the 200m wide and it allows 2 way traffic. The depth can be increased with time. Right now it takes 30-36 hours to round lanka in open waters. Large merchant ships cost $1000+/hr to operate and shallow calm waters will always be preferred and the costs only increase every year making the economics better. Car manufacturers in Chennai have complained about lack of international shiping.

I have absolutely no doubt such a project will be constructed one day, the economics are too compelling. We just have to wait till the light bulb moment….





The cost and constant maintenance simply does not justify the project. It is uneconomical and nonviable. A few hundred miles "saved" may not tempt a majority of shipping of the size and tonnage that would make a difference. It may work for indigenous coastal traffic but certainly not international shipping. Coastal traffic is sparse and it will not support ROI. We don't need any more white elephants from the Min of shipping.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Bade » 22 Jun 2015 04:33

Cochin Shipyard Limited seeks nod for dry dock in shipyard

Presenting its case before a high-level Environment Ministry panel recently, the CSL has said the overall length of the dry dock is proposed to be 320 meters out of which 20 meters would be extended in to back water.

The proposed dry dock shall be constructed in maximum 15 acres of land within the existing Cochin Shipyard premises and no additional land shall be acquired for the purpose. The shipyard is located on MG road within Kochi city.
This was mentioned in one of the Naval threads before.

According to the CSL, the existing two dry docks cannot handle repair or building activities of large vessels namely jack up rigs, aircraft carriers, LNG carriers and semisubmersibles, hence, it is proposed to build a new dry dock, to undertake such activities within the existing premises of the Shipyard.

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India's Shipping Sector

Postby Peregrine » 14 Jul 2015 01:21

A Kerala Port with Adani. Why That's a Good Thing.

Vizhinjam is a somewhat sleepy fishing village at the southern periphery of Kerala's capital, Thiruvananthapuram. It is a picturesque place, with an attractive lighthouse, acres of beachfront and a small harbour crowded with fishing vessels.

That is today. But tomorrow it could be the deepest seaport in India and a trans-shipment hub for all of southern India, if not the whole country and the wider Indian Ocean Rim region.

One problem: the Vizhinjam Port bid has been won by Adani Ports, whose owner has been reviled by many as a beneficiary of "crony capitalist" practices by the present ruling party in Delhi. Many well-meaning liberals, including in Congress-ruled Kerala, are appalled at the prospect.

Let's look at what's at stake here. Ships carry 90% of the world's goods across the seas; for decades, they have not been the preferred mode of passenger movement, but when we speak of international trade, we speak of shipping. Mainline container vessels or "mother ships" carry goods to major, deep-water ports, from where they are transferred to smaller "feeder vessels" that take them to smaller, shallower ports, in a process known as trans-shipment. This enables goods to be transported at the lowest cost to and from relatively shallow ports, which include most of India's existing so-called major ports like Mumbai and Visakhapatanam.

Despite India having enjoyed steady economic growth over the last fifteen years, the vast majority of India's container traffic is either being trans-shipped at ports outside the country, mainly at Colombo (Sri Lanka), Singapore, Port Klang and Tanjung Pelapas (Malaysia), Salalah (Oman), and Jebel Ali (Dubai), or delivered by smaller, less efficient ships directly to relatively shallow Indian ports. This is because India currently has no major all-weather, deep-water port near the international sea routes to handle large mainline container vessels.

As a result Colombo trans-ships more Indian goods than all of India's own ports. There is a serious geopolitical angle to being dependent on Colombo for transshipment, since its latest and biggest terminal is now operated by a Chinese firm. India prohibits Chinese firms from investing in or building its ports, but in effect condones the transshipment of the lion's share of our cargo via a Chinese-operated port where Chinese Navy submarines regularly call for resupply.

Most of the major ships carrying cargo between East Asia and Africa, and between Europe and East Asia, pass directly through or go very near Indian territorial waters. Currently, a significant number of these ships break their bulk at Colombo, Singapore or Dubai, with the majority of the cargo meant for India or the rest of South Asia.

It doesn't have to be this way. Vizhinjam is uniquely located close to the shipping routes between Asia and Europe. The key Suez-Malacca shipping lane runs very close to Vizhinjam, some ten nautical miles away, much closer than to any other Indian port. With changing technology, bigger vessels -- such as the 19,224 TEU MSC Oscar, the 19,100 TEU CSCL Globe or the 18,000 TEU Maersk Triple-E class -- are becoming popular because of their economies of scale and the consequent reduction in shipping costs. ("Triple E" refers to "Economies of scale", "Energy efficient" and "environmentally improved"; the TEU figure correlates to the number of twenty-foot containers that can be carried by the vessel).

Ships of over 18,000 TEUs are the future of sea cargo because they involve lower costs per container shipped. But bigger ships require deeper ports. Typically a vessel greater than 10,000 TEUs in size requires water depth greater than 14 metres to operate safely in. This has to be artificially created through costly dredging in most transshipment hubs across the globe, whereas Vizhinjam has a natural un-dredged draft of up to 24 meters, perfect for all mother vessels. Ships of up to 20,000 TEU or more can easily berth there from day one.

A few years ago, Kerala tried to break into the trans-shipment market with Vallarpadam terminal in Kochi, which unfortunately has struggled to maintain even 10 meters of depth through daily dredging. It has also struggled with legacy unionization and tariff related constraints on account of it being part of a Government of India-controlled Major Port. Since 21st century ports require longer terminals, deeper drafts and bigger "turning basins" than Vallarpadam can provide, the project has not even been able to attract significant direct cargo, far less any transshipment traffic. It's typical of Kerala's politics that with Vizhinjam available, decision-makers developed Vallarpadam first.

However everything that's wrong with Vallarpadam can and should be remedied at Vizhinjam. It is the deepest natural port in India, with an operating draft of 21-24 metres and minimal littoral drift, which means no maintenance dredging would be required and O&M [operating and maintenance] costs would be minimized. It is as close to the key shipping lanes as Colombo is, and being a greenfield port, has no legacy unionization issues. In fact its strategic location on the tip of the peninsula provides not just proximity to the international shipping lanes but also equidistance from both West and East Coast Indian ports. Since Vizhinjam would be built from scratch, it has the ability to deploy "best in class" equipment without being burdened by legacy facilities. It can be highly mechanized and have world-class efficiency (given the right operator). Vizhinjam could handle the largest ships in the world as efficiently as Singapore, Hong Kong or Rotterdam for decades to come.

India suffers from high logistics costs because of the lack of direct calls by main shipping lines and the lack of a domestic transshipment port capable of handling such giants. We have a 7516.6 kilometre coastline and nearly 200 ports, but most - even our 13 so-called "Major Ports" -- have depth of between nine to eleven metres. As a result we cannot dock or service any of the bigger ships now plying international waters; they offload our goods in foreign ports. In effect, our economy is helping to pay for ports like Colombo, Salalah and Tanjung Pelapas, while our exports remain relatively uncompetitive and our imports become more expensive. The Indian economy will remain less competitive compared to those of China, Singapore or Malaysia till we have a domestic deep-water transshipment terminal. Vizhinjam is the most pragmatic and immediate answer.

The Vizhinjam project has already received the necessary environmental and Coastal Zone Regulation clearance. It has attracted Viability Gap Funding of Rs. 800 crores from the Central Government. The State government has already acquired 90% of the land required for the project and begun work on road and rail connectivity. Electrical and water supply lines are being established. The project, with a capital cost of Rs. 6647 crore, has been structured as a Public-Private partnership with the State Government as landlord, on a "Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer" basis.

Despite having these advantages, for various reasons, we failed to secure a viable bid to build and operate the port in the last 25 years. The current winning bid, in the fourth bid process over the last decade or so, is the last chance for Vizhinjam.

With each passing year, escalation in project costs, the development of rival ports and competition from existing international ports like Colombo and Hambantota poses serious challenges to the project's viability. So we should all understand that this is a now or never situation.

Which brings us back to Adani Ports. Should the Vizhinjam project be deferred rather than give it to Narendra Modi's favourite capitalist? As Deng Xiao Ping had memorably said, "I don't care if the cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice." Adani Ports is India's leading private sector port developer and operator, and operates India's most sophisticated and fastest growing container port that may soon unseat Mumbai's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust as India's top container port. Adani Ports won the tender process for Vizhinjam fair and square. Other considerations are frankly beside the point.

If Vizhinjam's only credible bidder is denied this opportunity, Adani Ports will simply move down the coast to where a red carpet awaits them, in Tamil Nadu's fledgling port of Colachel, represented by a BJP MP. This would neither be in Kerala's interest nor in that of the nation, since Vizhinjam is both deeper and better situated than its rival, but capital will flow where it is most welcome and where it feels most secure.

A golden opportunity beckons. From the Vizhinjam lighthouse, the horizon glows at sunrise. If the port is built, the prospects are as stunning as the view. It is time we put development ahead of politics and embraced the bid in order to develop the project without any further delay, in the best interests of the people of Trivandrum -- and of India as a whole.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Bade » 14 Jul 2015 01:55

So what is the water depth at Colachel ? It cannot be very different from Vizhinjam, right ?

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India's Shipping Sector

Postby Peregrine » 14 Jul 2015 03:34

Bade wrote:So what is the water depth at Colachel ? It cannot be very different from Vizhinjam, right ?

Bade Ji :

I believe the Anchorage depth is 12.5m - 13.7m

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Sachin » 14 Jul 2015 09:34

The move indicates Kerala’s intention to appoint Adani Ports to develop a new port at Vizhinjam
There were some rumours last week of the High Command (Sonia et.al) not happy with a congress government handing over the port development to a BJP-friendly Adani. But all said and done, his was the only bid for the tender.

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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Paul » 14 Jul 2015 16:37

It was threatened to be moved to neighbouring TN if not moved upon soon.


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Re: India's Shipping Sector

Postby Sachin » 14 Jul 2015 20:02

Paul wrote:It was threatened to be moved to neighbouring TN if not moved upon soon.

Won't it be a better strategy to support both the ventures (Kolachel & Vizhinjam)??


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