Corporate News | Cochin Port to build terminal via PPP

Corporate News | Cochin Port to build terminal via PPP

Kochi: The Cochin Port Trust has decided to go back to private-public participation for its 200-crore international bunkering terminal where vessels calling at the port or passing that way can fill fuel.

After a year of toying with the proposal from the Indian Oil Corporation to fund the project, the port has decided to request the five shortlisted companies to provide the financial modes, said P Ramchandran, port chairman.

“The port did consider the IOC business model of funding the project. But the fund would be treated as debt and considering repayment of the fund with interest, the port fears that it will land the port in a debt trap. Since it has been more than a year after IOC was asked to review its model and no favourable decision has been received, the plan has been dropped. The union shipping ministry has been informed of this and since the matter involves security risks, a detailed study of the companies is to begin very soon.

The environment impact assessment is already on," he said.

Six companies had expressed interest in the project and those shortlisted are Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Indian Oil Tanking Infrastructure, Adani Group, Punj Lloyd Ltd and Gammon India Ltd.

It will be a multi-user liquid terminal on 26 hectares at the special economic zone at Puthuvypu, off Kochi. It will be on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis for a period of 30 years.

Initially, the facility would have a capacity of 2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) which would later be doubled. With the commissioning of the international container transshipment terminal in a few months, there would be a rise in the number of vessels calling at the port. During the last fiscal, the number of vessels that called at the port went up to 1,278 from 1,082 the previous year.

“As it will be strategically located close to international maritime routes, the terminal will be an ideal location even for vessels passing by which can be fuelled using barges from the terminal. With the Kerala government reducing the tax from 12% to 0.5%, a special rate for bunkering from the terminal, it would prove advantageous to the port," he said. Even ships passing by can use the facility where bunkering would be done with barges.

About the 3,000-crore international container transshipment terminal, he hoped to complete the work in another two months. “There has been delay in dredging the shipping channel which is expected to be completed soon and hopefully, the ICTT will be commissioned immediately after that," says Ramachandran whose term gets over in January.


McCormick is set to enter Indian market

Kochi: Leading US-based spice leader McCormick and Company Inc is set to enter the Indian market with localized products and develop a brand. The company which purchased 26% stake in Kerala-based Eastern Condiments Pvt Ltd that is into spice and seasoning business, early this month will use this platform to market products in India, according to Alan D Wilson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of McCormick.

The company has since 1994 had a 50% stake in another Kerala-based company AVT McCormick Ingredients Pvt Ltd. This is mainly an export-oriented venture aimed at meeting McCormick demands for its products sold across 100 countries. The AVT venture produces cleaned, steam sterilized, ready-to-use spice ingredients.

McCormick has a share of roughly 50% in the $1.5-billion spice trade in the US and its total sales for the calendar 2009 was $3.2 billion.

The $36-million deal with Eastern which was proposed in June will see two McCormick directors on the local company board. Leveraging on the Eastern expertise, McCormick hopes to develop a branded market in India which has a share of just 10% in the country’s spice trade of $5.5 billion. The new initiative will provide product ideas, technology and bring in the best global practices to help Eastern improve quality. Through this it also looks at creating new spice products for the US market, Alan said here on Wednesday.

This venture will be similar to the ones it has in China where its two manufacturing plants cater to the local market.

Nawas Meeran, vice-chairman of Eastern Condiments, said the partnership was a synergization exercise since with the present product cycle, it would not be possible to meet the market needs. Eastern has been a leading brand of spices, seasonings and other related food products in India and West Asia where it has a joint venture for spice processing. Operating profitably for the last 10 years since its launch in 1989, Eastern achieved an annual sales of $67 million for the fiscal ended March 2010. Nawas added that the average annual growth rate exceeded 25% for the last three years.



Zydus to market Maxisal in India, Nepal

Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad-based leading drug manufacturing firm, Cadila Healthcare Ltd (also known as Zydus Cadila) has entered into an agreement with the US-based Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) to market ABI’s dietary supplement Maxisal in India and Nepal.

"We are delighted that Zydus Cadila has agreed to market Maxisal and are hopeful that success in India and Nepal will lead them to expand Maxisal into some of the more than 50 other countries in which they currently market products," Dr. Joseph Cummins, President and CEO, ABI was quoted in a release from the company.

ABI is a U.S. biotechnology firm operating in global partnership with the Hayashibara Group, which also holds 5.4% of Amarillo Biosciences shares and has provided over $18 million in loans, grants and equity investments.

However, when contacted a company spokesperson from Zydus Cadila declined to comment on this development.

ABI was initially launched Maxisal in the United States after clinical studies in subjects with Sjoegren’s syndrome (characterized by dry eyes and dry mouth) found that the active ingredient in Maxisal significantly improved mouth comfort and decreased mouth and throat dryness. Maxisal is marketed in Germany by ABI’s licensee Egofocus OHG based in Darmstadt.

Staff Reporter


Ascendas signs MoU with Japanese consortium to develop integarted township project

New Delhi: Ascendas, a firm that specializes in building, managing and marketing commercial and IT parks has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Japanese consortium to develop an integrated township project in Chennai, a statement from the company said on Wednesday.

The Japanese consortium that comprises of Mizuho Corporate Bank and program management contractor and investment partner JGC Corporation will jointly explore opportunities for business partnership and collaboration in large-scale project to develop a world-class integrated township in India, with eco-friendly infrastructure for industrial, business, commercial, residential, and lifestyle amenities.

Ascendas will be the master developer in the joint venture.

Under the MoU, Ascendas and the Japan consortium will share knowledge and experience in the areas of project financing, infrastructure technologies and industrial park development for the Chennai project, where many Japanese companies have already set up operations and more have shown strong interest to be there.

The partnership will also conduct feasibility studies and explore opportunities for financial participation and investment by Japanese consortium in the integrated township project, including equity investment, debt financing and other supporting financial services for Japanese companies.

Stanly Johny