India to Inject More Financial Aid in Ports

India’s Ministry of Shipping has increased the scope of the Sagarmala project to provide financial support to its ports and state governments for the creation of infrastructure for movement of cargo and passengers by sea or national waterways in an effort to promote coastal shipping in the country.

Under the scheme, projects which will be considered for assistance include construction and upgrading of coastal berths for coastal cargo and berths for passenger ferries, mechanization of coastal berths, capital dredging for operating non-major ports, construction of breakwaters for existing and greenfield non-major ports, construction of berths and jetties in national waterways and islands, and construction of platforms and jetties for hovercrafts and seaplanes.

Financial assistance under the revised scheme would be given up to 50% of the total cost of the project, while the balance cost would be borne by respective ports or concerned state governments from their internal resources.

Under the scheme, the creation of exclusive berths for coastal shipping and its mechanization will reduce waiting time for coastal vessels resulting in reduced cost. The capital dredging and construction of breakwaters would help in smoother navigation of large vessels into the ports and thus facilitate development of existing and greenfield ports.

New container freight station opened at India’s Vishakhapatnam Port

A new container freight station with a 100,000 twenty foot equivalent unit (TEU) capacity has been opened at the Vishakhapatnam port, India.

Developed by Visakha Container Terminal (VCTPL) with an investment of INR1bn ($15m), the new container freight station covers an area of 34ac.

Along with the new station, 6.25MW out of 10MW solar power plant has also been commissioned at the port.

The power generated from the newly commissioned plant meets the captive consumption of the port, and surplus power is proposed to be sold by third party agreements.

Additionally, a liquid cargo berth, EQ-10, developed by AVR Infra with an investment of INR553.8m ($8m), has also been inaugurated at the Vishakhapatnam port. EQ-10 has a capacity of 1.84 million tonnes per annum.

A multi cargo berth with a 2.08 million tonnes per annum capacity, WQ-6, developed by ABG Infra Logistics at a cost of INR1.14bn ($17m), has also been opened at the port.

Apart from inaugurating these facilities, India’s shipping, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari also laid the foundation stone for the project ‘reconstruction of old EQ-2,3,4 & 5 berths into two new berths of 530m quay in the inner harbour’ at the port. The project, with a six million tonnes of capacity, will require an investment of INR1.82bn ($27m).

Currently, two berths, WQ-7 and 8, with a 6.39 million tonnes of capacity, are under construction at the port at a cost of INR2.43bn ($36m).

During his visit to the port, Gadkari reviewed the dredging projects executed by the port with an investment of INR4bn ($59m). He suggested installing a sewage treatment plant at the port for treating the city sewage before letting it into the port limits, to avoid water pollution.

Keppel Shipyard to deliver FPSO vessel to Armada Kraken

Keppel Shipyard, a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), is set to deliver a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to Armada Kraken, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based offshore energy facilities and services provider Bumi Armada.

Once delivered, the new FPSO, with a lifespan of 25 years without dry-docking, will be used to produce the heavy oil found in the Kraken field, in the UK sector of the North Sea.

Keppel O&M marine and technology managing director Michael Chia said: “The Armada Kraken project has further strengthened our track record in converting sophisticated FPSOs that are designed to operate under harsh-environment conditions. With Armada Kraken, Keppel and Bumi Armada would have completed our 15th conversion / upgrading project together.”

Under the deal with Armada Kraken, Keppel Shipyard will provide renovation and life extension works, installation of an internal turret mooring system, as well as installation and integration of topside process modules.

Keppel Shipyard will also improve Armada Kraken’s living quarters, which will be able to accommodate 90 personnel.

Bumi Armada CEO Leon Harland said: “Armada Kraken marks Bumi Armada’s entry into the North Sea and it underscores our commitment to deliver a high quality bespoke FPSO, that is designed to meet the challenges posed by the North Sea’s harsh environment using proven technology, and incorporates a number of unique features to ensure a safe, reliable and economical operation. The FPSO is built in compliance with the strict regulatory guidelines as defined by the UK Health and Safety Executive and Department of Energy and Climate Change regulations and is classed by DNV GL.”

Currently, Armada Kraken can handle a peak fluid rate of 460,000 barrels per day and 80,000 barrels of oil per day.

With a storage capacity of 600,000 barrels, it is also capable of handling 75,000 barrels per day of water injection, and 20 million standard cubic feet of gas.

Mitsubishi Heavy seeks alliance with three other Japanese yards

Four major Japanese shipbuilders are in discussions to form an alliance to ride out the downturn.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) said it is in discussions with Imabari Shipbuilding, Oshima Shipbuilding and Namura Shipbuilding to form a grouping that would “collectively provide Japan’s commercial ship industry with robust global competitive strength”, MHI said in a release.

“The move toward forming these alliances targets the integration of MHI’s strengths in shipbuilding technology and engineering with the three prospective partners’ manufacturing capabilities and cost competitiveness. By combining these strengths, the alliances would boost ship development capabilities, enhance negotiation response, and enable further cost reductions, thereby accelerating the buildup of competitive strength in the global market,” MHI said.

MHI has split its shipbuilding capabilities between cruise and merchant shipbuilding in recent years.

MHI said it is also looking at establishing a technology center to undertake advanced technology development and education in shipbuilding technologies and skills. It will seek other yards to join in the new center.

A strong Yen and very limited appetite for new tonnage has pushed Japanese shipyards into a dangerous position. New orders in the first half plunged 82%, the worst performance seen since 2008. Japanese yards currently have a 19% global share of shipbuilding output and face severe competition from neighbors China and South Korea.

Abu Dhabi Ports unveils plan to expand Khalifa Port

news1
Contract signing between Abu Dhabi Ports and National Marine Dredging Company representatives

UAE-based Abu Dhabi Ports has unveiled an expansion plan for its deepwater Khalifa Port in order to handle more cargo.

As part of the plan, 1,000m of quay wall will be added to the port, deepening its main channel and basin to 18m from the existing 16m.

With the addition of the new quay, the terminal will get another 600,000m² for cargo handling.

As part of this expansion, Abu Dhabi Ports has signed a contract with National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) for dredging the channels and to build the new quay wall as well as the adjacent yard behind it.

The expansion is scheduled for completion by mid-2018.

Abu Dhabi Ports CEO Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said: “This ambitious expansion is crucial to ensuring Abu Dhabi remains a global trade and investment hub as well as supporting our local industries. Building on recent growth at Khalifa Port, we are future proofing our operations to ensure we can continue to attract the world’s leading operators to use our world-class facilities that will see Capesize vessels, the largest in the cargo industry, come directly into an Abu Dhabi port for the very first time. Over the past few years we have invested in building an integrated, technology enabled platform and physical infrastructure for our customers to become an enabler for key business sectors in line with the Abu Dhabi Plan and Vision 2030. Today sees us take this to the next level as a maritime centre and as the gateway to the world’s fastest growing economies.”

The expansion at the terminal, which currently handles bulk cargo and roll-on roll-off vehicle transportations, will also enable it to handle the world’s largest ships.

Once completed, the port will help increase the country’s competiveness in the logistics and maritime sector, as well as serve major industries across the UAE.