Thursday, 16 April 2009

Industry Snapshots

Indian merchant navy officer killed in unprovoked attack in Glasgow. Police confirm that a 20 year old youth has been arrested in the stabbing and murder of Indian officer Kunal Mohanty in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. The 30 year old Mohanty was walking with friends near the Citizen’s area on March 27 when he was apparently stabbed as he passed a group of people. He died soon after being taken to hospital. "We are still trying to piece together exactly what happened. This terrible attack has resulted in a young man losing his life. It was completely unprovoked and it is imperative we trace the person or people who are responsible," said Detective Inspector Carson of the Glasgow police. Mohanty was a student of the Glasgow College of Nautical Studies and was planning to return to India in April after appearing for his Master’s examinations. Married just a year and a half ago, he leaves behind a pregnant wife in Jullundur, India. This news comes just a month after Marex reported that three British teenagers had been sentenced for six and a half years each for killing another Indian seafarer, Gregory Fernandes, in a rabidly racist attack in Southampton in 2007.

JNPT eyes foreign ports. Chairman SS Hussain has told the Economic Times “We are planning to expand our operation abroad as a port as well as terminal operator.” JNPT is looking at countries in Africa and Latin America and is evaluating European and Canadian partnerships for setting up Greenfield ports. JNPT is the largest container port in the country. Sources say that it is open, at the moment, to all opportunities, including a royalty or investment scenario. ET says that the JNPT board will make a presentation to the Ministry shortly seeking approval and asking for ‘more autonomy in its functioning’. There are moves to set up other terminals within the country as well.

Saudi Arabia to launch $2.5 billion training facility backed by Saudi Aramco in the country. Director Amer Al Sulaim says that the purpose of the new entity, the Arabian Gulf Ports Association (AGPA), is to provide well trained mariners in the numbers required to the expanding regional industry. ‘We are excited at the prospect and are hoping it would provide the necessary impetus to the industry,’ he said in Bahrain at a conference, adding that not enough facilities existed to handle projected industry requirements. The AGPA is looking to Bahrain for additional expertise in setting up the facility.

Great Eastern wins $53 million (Rs266.6 crore) contract from Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, reports Livemint. GE will ship eight crude oil shipments a month from Iran and Saudi Arabia starting in May; each shipment will involve feeding about 90,000 tonnes to the MRPL Mangalore refinery.

International Maritime Employers’ Committee tells ITF they may seek salary cuts, reports Lloyds List. IMEC official Giles Heimann has, in any case, shot down hopes of salary increases, saying, “Our standpoint is that we cannot entertain a pay increase this year.” The statement comes as owners prepare for negotiation with the ITF and other Unions under the International Bargaining Forum mechanism (IBF). Heimann added, “Due to the financial climate, the ship owners do not believe they have the means to entertain any form of pay increase. We are sending a very firm message.” The ITF, on its part, has said that the IMEC publishing its views through a press statement is “unhelpful”, and that the ITF intends to respond only at the meeting of the IBF.

Cruising, ‘imprisoned’ and angry. More than 600 irate passengers on the P&O Aurora say that they were "imprisoned" on the £200m cruise ship because port calls were cancelled to make up lost time. A protest committee of angry passengers demanded to talk to the Captain because the Aurora called just two ports in three weeks. Passengers claim that the ship was trying to make up for time lost in Auckland, New Zealand, where she underwent unscheduled engine repairs for five days, and that calls to islands in French Polynesia and Tahiti were therefore cancelled. Passengers have shelled out upwards of 9000 British Pounds for the three month long ‘World Cruise. One passenger called the cruise line’s behaviour ‘unforgivable’. P&O, on its part, says that they will offer a compensation package to the passengers. The Aurora has apparently had more than its share of unsavoury incidents starting from the time of its launch, when the champagne bottle swung by Princess Anne failed to break, according to media reports.


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