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DateLine Thursday, 10 July 2008

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CPC in joint venture with Greek shipper

Sri Lanka’s national shipping line, Ceylon Shipping Corporation has struck a deal with a member of a famous Greek shipping company for a joint venture project to transport petroleum products and supply ship fuel ,its sources said .

The company has signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to form a joint venture company to go for oil transportation, particularly for CPC (Ceylon Petroleum Corporation) and also to do bunkering in Colombo,” a senior company official said.

The MoU was signed with Pyrros Vardinoyannis, scion of one of Greece’s well-known shipping families with interests in shipping as well as petroleum. The joint venture has tentatively been named CSC Kandia.

The CSC official said the joint venture is also eyeing opportunities to do bunkering in Colombo, south Asia’s transshipment hub. However, bunker prices in Colombo are among the highest in the region and there is scope for more competition, officials said.

“We have signed a kind of pre-incorporation agreement outlining the objectives of the joint venture,” the CSC official said.

The Greek party will provide a vessel, either their own or chartered, and invest along with the CSC. The company is looking to see whether a joint venture company of both parties can be formed to go into business, its sources said.

The official said the joint venture is aiming to bid for a tender from the CPC, the state oil refiner, for a long-term transport contract to ship petroleum products. The CPC is calling tenders for freight. They usually go to the spot market but this time they’ve called for a one year-period, its sources said.

The CPC wants to go for long-term freight contracts to reduce costs and be able to ship bigger parcels, officials said. The Vardinoyannis family network includes shipping and petroleum refining as well as sports. It is one of Greece’s close-knit shipping clans that are connected to each other and have considerable influence in the maritime world.

Hambantota port progress assessed

The higher officers and the Divisional Heads of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) recently participated in a special inspection tour at the Hambantota Port Development project.

The construction work in Hambantota port is expected to be completed by 2012. Presently phase one of the project is in progress and expected to complete in 2009. Chinese government is funding the project.

This was the first occasion, 23 Divisional Heads of SLPA took part in an inspection tour at the site to inspect the on going construction activities of the project. The participants were specially acknowledged the construction work of the Hambantota port development project, the progress and also of its future operational activities during the inspection tour.

Being a mega development project implemented in Sri Lanka, Hambantota Port Development Project is fully supervised and inspected by the Engineers of the SLPA. This has enabled the SLPA to save a huge cost that would have to be spent if the project was handed over to foreign experts for supervision and inspection.

Vice Chairman of SLPA, Priyath Bandu Wickrama functions as the Director of the Hambantota Port Development Project. The port is constructed upon his advice, under the supervision of the Chief Engineer of the Southern Port Development Project, Janaka Kurukulasuriya.

Hambantota is the nearest point to the main shipping rout connecting the East and West. As the Port of Colombo is reaching towards its maximum capacity due to the lack of the space for all type of cargo including bulk, break bulk, roro, oil and gas, container and etc; another suitable and efficient port is required with all facilities, to cater for such needs.

As a completely successful solution to this future congestion of maritime activities and serves in the Port of Colombo, the second biggest port in Sri Lanka is constructed nearest to the international maritime route in Hambantota.

The area also consists of good geographical location, good weather conditions and closer to deep contours for such a construction. Hambantota has a low population density and is also considered as a less developed area for a long time.

Extensive land and less restrictions in the planning therefore, has enabled to construct Hambantota Port Project as an internal port which is cost effective rather than the off shore constructions.

Due to the natural depth along the cost line, there is no need for the construction of a long approach channel as well.

The land in the area stands suitable for many port related industries and services too.

The port in Hambantota will also be constructed specially, enabling to handle 100,000 dwt vessels. It will have an approach channel of 210 metres wide and 16 metres deep. The turning circle is of a diameter of 610 metres at a depth of 16 metres.

K Line will resume calls at US port of Portland

Tremendous benefit to export community:

Japanese ocean carrier, K Line, will resume calls at the US port of Portland, Oregon, from the end of July.

Japan is a major market for Oregon’s fruits berries and agricultural products and is the state’s second-largest export partner, behind Canada. This will be a tremendous benefit to the region’s export community, said Sam Ruda, one of the port’s directors, after visiting K Line officials in Tokyo.

The K Line call results from a ‘slow-steaming’ induced vessel change within the CKYH Alliance, of Cosco, K Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin Shipping which means that Taiwanese ocean carrier Yang Ming, will no longer directly call at Portland.

K Line last made a direct call at Portland in December 2004.

Virginia signs deal

The Virginia Port Authority said its operating company, Virginia International Terminals Inc., has signed its largest customer to a 10-year contract valued at more than $500 million.

The deal is with a consortium comprising five carriers: COSCO, “K” Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin Shipping Inc. and United Arab Shipping Co.



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