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India’s port expansion and capacity upgrading summit

Posted to India’s port expansion and capacity upgrading summit (by on November 26, 2012

Lnoppen, in its latest conference provided an up-to-date insight into the condition of the Indian ports, the need for capacity up-gradation and achieving various goals to meet future demands

Lnoppen, better known as the “corridor of insight” organized their 3 India Port Expansion & Capacity Upgrading Summit last week on 22 and 23 November, 2012 in Mumbai. The Chairman of the conference Anand V. Sharma, Managing Director of Mantrana Maritime Advisory while making his opening remarks considered the event an opportune moment as it focused on the paradigm shift underway in the Indian ports sector with many ports racing to meet up with the soaring demand for capacity enhancement.        

Topics of the seminar elicited extensive discussions and debates. Nearly every aspect of the port industry were covered in just this one event thus offering participants maximum prospects to learn about the key challenges facing the industry and how these could be overcome. It also afforded an insight into the policy framework of the government and other related authorities and the bearing it has on the expansion plans for meeting the phenomenal demand and achieving associated targets.

The two-day program featured presentations and panel discussions giving ample opportunities for interaction, garnering information and to see things in proper perspective. What drew a good response from the industry was the popular one-to-one meeting, potential to do business and help establish a mutually beneficial relationship. Many could meet up with industry leaders from across the port industry and network with members from upstream, midstream and downstream.

The expansion and diversification plans of the country’s largest container port, JNPT were unraveled by its Advisor, Capt Subhash Kumar. He gave details about the dredging work that is underway for deepening the approach channels from 11.5 meters to 14 meters. He also explained the advantages of the proposed fourth container terminal and the proposed special economic zone (SEZ) and explained the future plans to make the port green.

The role of the regulator is to ensure that there is no monopoly and should generate at least 16 per cent profit and provide a level playing field. In this regard T. S. Balasubramanian, Member Finance of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) explained that there have been many shortcomings with regard the working of TAMP and its operations left much to be desired.

Speaking about the unique solutions for Inter-modality offered by Metrocargo, Doriano Mistrangelo, General Manager of Metrocargo Automazioni explained the competitive edge his company provided clients to solve the problem of handling goods by road and rail with an economic and faster transfer in horizontal mode that can be built along the Rail Tracks immediately under the catenary, i.e. without the need for any shunting activities. “Metrocargo allows,” he said, “the creation of a logistics system capable of networking all infrastructures where existing equipped Intermodal Terminals and Traditional Terminals can be easily combined.”

‘Sustainable and Innovative Harbor Construction with Steel Sheet Piling’ is a green solution for green ports according to Dr Pierre-Nicolas Werner, Executive Sales Manager and Head of Strategy & Reporting of Arcelor Mittal. He informed participants about the dynamism of their versatile sheet piles that have created wonders in leading ports the world over. “Such piling is the foundation solution which is in keeping with the company’s policy of providing not merely products but complete solutions.”

Laxman Rajwani, Director of Haskoning India Pvt Ltd., spoke on the ‘Engineering Challenges in Port Modernization and suggested innovations for new port Developments’. He explained his company’s holistic approach in dealing with port capacity enhancement for increasing throughput.

Speaking on the ‘Green Port initiative for existing and Greenfield Ports in India’ Vijay Agrawal of India Ports & Marine Lead, and Associate Director of Aecom highlighted the various techniques employed for reducing vessel emissions. He said, “The alternative marine power (AMP) or “Cold Ironing” helps reduce vessel emissions. The Hybrid tugs further reduce emissions in ports. The use of electric cranes is a growing trend as this can cuts down on emissions almost totally.

On the issues of ‘Business Risks & Regulatory Hurdles in Indian Port Sector,’ Anand V Sharma of Mantrana Maritime Advisory Pvt Ltd, pointed out various anomalies and incongruities that exists in port policies of the federal government which often clashed with those of the state governments. He quoted several instances where the trade suffered because of the lopsided policies resulting in the desired objectives not being attained. Among the several examples he mentioned was that the royalty payments in case of minor ports are significantly lower than those at major port.

Speaking about the ‘Ultra Large Container Ships challenge to ports – a Sri Lankan  Perspective’ Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Ports Authority spoke on the benefits in connecting Indian cargo via Sri Lankan ports. He appealed to the Indian trade for a joint approach which should be worked out between Sri Lanka and India to efficiently connect cargo to their destinations where the regional ports will get an effective capital circulation.

Going by a case study of Adani Ports & SEZ, Harikrishnan Sundaram, Associate GM of Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd., explained how Adani ports lends synergy to the country’s maritime trade. He stated that Adani port is India’s fourth largest port and the company continues to play pioneering roles in the power sector, transportation, providing connectivity, etc.    

A presentation was made on the ‘Future of Indian Ports – Key Trends and Outlook’ by Rohit Chaturvedi, Director – Transport of CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory. He gave a snapshot of the traffic trends in the major and non major ports of India. Among the various issues he touched upon included the existing policy and regulatory framework, the port development underway, the future capacity build up, the investment required and the opportunities for the private sector in this regard.

Capt R. R. Iyer, Representative of Port Le Havre, offered ‘A new solution for higher performances’. He highlighted HAROPA, the port synergy of LE HAVRE + ROUEN + PARIS PORTS, the excellent connectivity that exists in France with other European countries and the remarkable facilities and services that Indian shipping companies and the trade can expect from HAROPA.

Two other speakers touched upon matters of security, the conventions and regulations that have been put in place worldwide, about safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.


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