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Monday, 12 April 2010






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New NEMO/ANZ to patronize SLPA/JCT

Vessels deployed by Hapag Lloyd in New Europe Mascarene Oceania Service (NEMOS) which is jointly operated by the same company in partnership with CMA-CGM commenced patronizing SLPA/JCT with effect from today. Hapag Lloyd had been patronizing SAGT, SLPA's sister terminal, with NEMO service until recently.

The Ottawa Express

In celebration of the significance of this move to SLPA/JCT, a plaque exchange ceremony was held on board the vessel Ottawa Express, on her maiden voyage at SLPA/JCT, yesterday between SLPA Chairman, the Managing Director and the Master of the vessel Capt. Zvonko Barac and the officials of Spence Shipping (Pvt) Ltd., the local agent for Hapag-Lloyd.

The SLPA was quite instrumental in the recent past in attracting several container lines and cruise lines to JCT by convincing them of the promise and potentialities of the current development landscape in port construction in Sri Lanka, under the present regime. The Mahinda Chintana program, which lays emphasis on port construction, recently conducted an IMF team to the Hambantota port construction site for inspection of the progress and the mission was very impressed by the rapid progress the project has made thus far.

The first stage of the Hambantota Port Development project is to be completed by the end of this year at a total cost of US $ 361 million. An oil tank farm with 14 tanks under an investment of US $ 76 million is also being constructed at the Hambantota port.

The tank farm consists of eight tanks for fuel bunkering facilities for vessels while three are set apart for storage of aero fuel and three for storing LP Gas. Once the Hambantota Port is completed, vessels could save nearly three hours' sailing time, fuel and enjoy a number of other benefits.

The other mega development project that the SLPA attaches great importance is the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP), the infrastructure of which is constructed by SLPA at a cost of Rs. 36 billion. Around 2200m of the breakwater construction work has so far been completed and almost 80 percent of the reclamation work and half of the dredging work is also completed. CPEP's first container terminal's construction activities will commence in the second quarter of this year under a BOT agreement and currently discussions are being held between SLPA and the selected bidder, China Merchants Holdings Company Limited. It is expected that the agreement will be finalized in the course of the next couple of weeks.

SLPA Chairman, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama said, "During the last two months our volumes are up 20 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. The cargo forecasts done by Scott Wilson, a few years ago had stated in their final report that the potential for container cargo at Colombo is tremendous and that the port would be reaching its maximum capacity around 4.5 million TEUs in 2012. SLPA has already started capacity expansion projects and last year its age-old Terminal Operating System at JCT was replaced with Navis - SPARCS and Navis - EXPRESS with a DGPS-based communication system to monitor container stacking and RFID tags to automatically track the location of containers and prime movers in the yard. I firmly believe that this is our order qualifying and order winning criteria in which shippers have placed great confidence.

We are determined to offer them an unsurpassed service that none can match in the region". SLPA Managing Director, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola said "The shift of the NEMO partner Hapag-Lloyd to SLPA/JCT from SAGT is a clear demonstration of the trust that shippers and lines have placed in the state-run terminal at a time like this when Sri Lanka has brought its macro-economic fundamentals into good shape after a 30-year war.

There is expression of continuous confidence in the economy. According to IMF literature our external balances are strong, remittance inflows continue at a high rate, tourism prospects are rapidly improving and our gross reserves remain at a comfortable level".

"When the country is poised for a post-war economic revival, we expect a peace-led windfall of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). So there will be development everywhere soon resulting in a strong demand for logistics services. Therefore the onus is on us to fully contribute to this development drive as the only State-run logistics and port services provider" he further said.

NEMO will offer connections all over the world via its main hubs at Damietta, Malta, La Spezia, Tilbury, Hamburg, Antwerp, Leharve, FOS, La spezia, Damietta, Suez, Djibouti, Port Reunion, Port Louis, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Lyttelton, Melbourne, Adelaide, Jakarta, Port Kelang, Chennai and Colombo.

Aitken Spence partners CINEC Maritime Campus

Port Management Container Services Ltd (PMCS), a fully owned subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC has formed a strategic partnership with Colombo International Nautical Engineering College (CINEC).

From Left - Aitken Spence Maritime Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman J.M.S. Brito, Ceyline Group Deputy Chairman Lucky Wickramanayake and Ceyline Group Managing Director Capt. Ajith Peiris after signing the partnership agreement.

Nine boats, 95 Indian sailors still held by pirates

At least nine vessels and 95 Indian sailors are still being held captive by pirates off the coast of Africa, a Government official in Mumbai said on Tuesday.

Six Indian boats with 78 sailors and another three foreign boats with 17 Indians on board are in the custody of Somali pirates, Director General of Shipping Lakshmi Venkatachalam said.

India has approached the Somalian Government for help to ensure release of the captured vessels.

"Our view is pirates are using these sailing vessels as an interim mode of travel across the seas," she said.

Last week, Somali pirates released two of the Indian boats hijacked in recent weeks, freeing 26 sailors.

The released ships were on their way to Dubai when they were hijacked after leaving a port in the rebel territory of Kismayo in Somalia.

India's Union Shipping Minister Thiru G.K. Vasan on Tuesday said piracy was of "grave concern" to international maritime operations.

Somali pirates, targeting one of the world's busiest maritime trade routes, raked in an estimated 60 million dollars in ransoms last year. AFP

Seized South Korean supertanker heading for Hobyo

The South Korean supertanker Samho Dream, captured Sunday by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, was Tuesday heading for the port of Hobyo, a pirate chief said.

"The supertanker is coming here. There are dozens of pirates on board," Abdi Yare said by phone from Hobyo. Fishermen in Hobyo, a pirate stronghold 300 kilometres (180 miles) north of Mogadishu, confirmed the tanker was expected to arrive there shortly. "I've seen dozens of pirates heading out to sea this morning to escort the ship into land. But I think it's still some way from the coast," said Jama Hussein Adan, a Hobyo fisherman.

Another pirate who identified himself as Hassan said the South Korean ship was attacked by a mixed group of pirates made up partly of men from Hobyo and partly of men from Garaad, further north in the breakaway region of Puntland. AFP

ZIM launches AME service

ZIM launched Asia-Med-Europe (AME), a new Cross Suez direct service between Asia, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean and Europe. The new service, based on 11 x 3,800 TEU's vessels, will take effect with the first westbound call at Colombo on April 20 of MV. Zim Pacific voy 48W. The service will offer additional direct links to West Mediterranean, Black Sea, North Africa, Central America and Caribbean from China, South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

The ZIM North Europe and UK East Coast Service (NEC) between East Mediterranean and Europe will be combined with this service, sustaining the same scope and reliable service levels. This service will be complementary to ZIM's Cross Suez services including the East Med Express Service (EMX) and slot swap agreement on the Asia-Europe Grand Alliance as well.

Port rotation will be as follows:

Shanghai-Da Chan Bay - Port Kelang - Colombo - Nhava Sheva - Haifa - Ashdod - Felixtowe - Antwerp - Hamburg - Alexandria - Limassol - Haifa - Ashdod - Colombo - Shanghai . With this new service, ZIM will also be able to offer its customers an extensive onward routing and feeder network coverage Ex. Haifa


 Feeding network via Haifa


* TYR (Tyrrhenian Service): HAIFA - FOS - GENOA - NAPLES - ASHDOD - HAIFA.

* ZCS (ZIM container Service): HAIFA - PIRAEUS - LIVORNO - GENOA - TARRAGONA - North America and Kingston.



Italian firms to build Iraq's biggest port

An Italian group will begin construction in a month's time on what will become Iraq's largest shipping port, the Iraqi Transport Minister said on Monday. The facility at Fao, at the Southernmost tip of the country, will be fed by a new rail line linking it to the Turkish border in the North, dramatically improving Iraq's moribund transport infrastructure. "Fao, which will be built by an Italian consortium, will be the biggest port in Iraq," Transport Minister Amer Abduljabbar Ismail said in a ceremony at Fao on the Gulf, 535 kilometres (335 miles) south of Baghdad.

"This project is part of a larger vision that we call a 'dry canal' which will allow for transport of goods between the north and the south of the world quickly, cheaply and safely," he said. AFP



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