Shipping ministry to award 25 port projects under PPP this fiscal

Mumbai: The shipping ministry will award 25 port projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme during the current financial year, reports PTI quoting a senior government official.

The ministry is also expecting investments from Singapore, Dubai and other Gulf countries, he said.

"We would award 25 PPP port projects in the current fiscal. The collective value of these contracts would be around Rs20,000 crore. So far, five projects have been awarded to the developers," shipping secretary, K Mohandas, told PTI here without divulging any financial details of the contracts.

Two of these projects at Paradip and Ennore near Chennai have already been awarded to Sterlite-Leighton and Eredene Capital consortium respectively.

These projects also include creation of mega container terminal or bulk transhipment at Chennai Port, New Mangalore Port and conversion of berth for container terminal at Tuticorin port.

These 25 PPP projects also include development and operation of two berths at Indira dock as dry bulk cargo terminal in Mumbai Port and development and operation of a dry commercial cargo at Mumbai Port.

According to Mr Mohandas, these projects are expected to enhance capacity at the centrally-regulated 12 ports by 46%.

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Commerce ministry against restricting iron ore exports

New Delhi: The commerce and industry ministry has said today that it is not in favour of restricting iron ore exports even as the ministry of steel and the Karnataka government want curbs on the mineral shipments, reports PTI.

"...If iron ore exports are restricted, it would effect economic activities in remote areas where handling of iron ore is the main employment generating activity," minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia informed the Lok Sabha.

Steel ministry and chief minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa are in favour of discouraging exports of iron ore to appropriate export duty in view of exploitation of mines and illegal mining.

Mr Scindia said iron ore production in the country has always been higher than the capacity of domestic steel industry to consume it.

India is mainly exporting iron ore fines, which are not used by domestic steel industry due to limited sintering and pelletisation capacity.

"There is a need to export excess ore (mainly fines) as it cannot be stored and would cause environmental degradation and hazards in mining areas, if not evacuated and exported," he said.

During 2008-09 iron ore fines constituted about 87% of the total iron ore exports.

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Herd on the street: Deccan Chronicle, Patni, Ramsarup Industries, sugar stocks, Nirmal Kotecha, Larsen & Toubro

Deccan Chronicle: Rumours of a stake sale are resurfacing. Mid-July, the stock charged on talk that the Gujarat-based Adani Group was going to acquire the company for $280 million-$300 million.

Patni: There is talk of a stake-sale to Fujitsu or NTT. On Friday, the stock surged after it declared an interim dividend of Rs63 per share.

Ramsarup Industries: Talk is surfacing in the market that Arcelor is now close to finalising a stake buy in the company. Ramsarup has two iron ore leases in Orissa, reportedly with reserves of 7.1 million metric tonnes and 45 million tonnes respectively. In June, the company had said it was in early talks with MNCs for growth opportunities in form of a tie-up, venture or a demerger   (Arcelor's name had come up even then).

Sugar stocks: They are said to benefit after the government raised prices of ethanol for blending with fuel to Rs27 per litre from the existing Rs21.50 per litre.

Nirmal Kotecha: Rumours are that he is accumulating shares in Su-raj Diamonds (and other diamond companies) and Networth Stock Broking.

Larsen & Toubro: There is talk of a bonus in the offing. The previous bonus was on 3 October 2008 and the one before that was on 29 September 2006 (looks like the market is expecting a bonus every two years).

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