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News Bulletin : September 2021 – Issue 2


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1. JNPT set to be the first landlord port : COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURE

The publicly governed port authority will function as a regulatory body.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has picked Crisil Risk and Infrastructure Solutions as transaction advisor for the planned privatisation of the shallow water berth that handles general cargo and the coastal berth dedicated for local cargo movements.

The 4.5 million tonne (mt) a year capacity shallow water berth has a length of 445 metres with a depth of 10 metres, and is capable of handling container, cement, general cargo and liquid cargo vessels.

Source: The Hindu Businessline

2. India’s Blue Economy – An Ocean Of Opportunities : COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURE

On the 2nd of March 2021, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi inaugurated the Maritime India Summit-2021 virtually, which ranks as one of the world’s biggest virtual summits with the participation of a mind-boggling 0.17 million participants from 100 nations.

I quote his clarion call to the world maritime community –“India’s long coastline awaits you. India’s hardworking people await you. Invest in our ports. Invest in our people. Let India be your preferred trade destination. Let Indian ports be your port of call for trade and commerce.” Outstanding ain’t it?

No other government has been as assertive as the present dispensation when it comes to planning India’s roadmap for the nation’s big leap into the highly competitive global “Blue Economy”, which is valued at a staggering US$1.5 trillion per year.

Source: Salon Prive Magazine

3. How Special Economic Zones are Reshaping the World Economy : BUSINESS PARKS/ ECONOMIC ZONES

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are reshaping the world economy – yet, no one is paying attention. SEZs are business parks granted legal autonomy to improve their governance. Companies operating within SEZs enjoy unique tax breaks, streamlined government regulations, special VISA rights and different labor laws. This enables businesses to operate in emerging markets without the usual problems that businesses in the developed world face.

Understandably, SEZs have become increasingly popular among emerging market investors. In 1979, there were 200 SEZs. Now, there are more than 12,000. Governments are spending ever-larger amounts of money on SEZs in an attempt to cash in – the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund plans to invest $500 billion USD in NEOM, a planned city-sized SEZ. China plans on spending $2 trillion USD on its Belt and Road Initiative, which includes several hundred overseas SEZs.

Source: Nasdaq

4. DP World to invest Rs 2,000 crore in various Tamil Nadu projects : BUSINESS PARKS/ ECONOMIC ZONES

Logistics services major DP World will come up with fresh investments to the tune of around Rs 2,000 crore in Tamil Nadu, including setting up of a new container terminal, cold storage and sea food processing zone among other units.

The other projects lined up include a free trade zone with an integrated rail siding, minor port in the Eastern Coast of Tamil Nadu and inland container depots in Erode, Karur and Tirupur. “These projects may create employment for 4,500 people (1,500 direct and 3,000 indirect),” a government official said. The company has now signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government seeking facilitation support required for the projects.

Source: Business Standard

5. HP Govt signs 27 MoUs worth Rs 3,307 cr : BUSINESS PARKS/ ECONOMIC ZONES

Himachal Government on Sunday signed 27 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) worth Rs 3,307 crore with various industrial sectors at Chandigarh that would provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to around 15,000 persons.

Director Industries Rakesh Kumar Prajapati signed the MoUs on behalf of the State Government.

Speaking on the occasion, Industries Minister Bikram Singh asserted that the state leads in ease of doing business ranking amongst neighbouring States Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Delhi.

Source: Daily Pioneer

6. Vessel can’t be made amenable to Customs Duty Nine years later by virtue of condition in another Exemption Notification: Orissa HC : FLOATING STRUCTURES

The Orissa High Court held that the vessel cannot be made amenable to Custom duty nine years later by virtue of condition in another exemption notification. The petitioner Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd. is a private sector shipping service provider involved in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, gas, and dry bulk commodities. It is stated to be a member of the Indian National Ship Owners Association (INSA). Source: Taxscan

7. BBIN sub-region needs cooperative approach for multi-modal connectivity: CUTS : INLAND WATERWAYS

The Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) sub-region should develop a cooperative approach for multi-modal connectivity, learning from successful sub-regional connectivity models of the world, said Bipul Chatterjee, Executive Director of CUTS International, a global public policy think- and action-tank on trade, regulations and governance.

He was speaking in a webinar organised by CUTS International on Thursday to discuss the intermodal transport connectivity lessons from Central, South and Southeast Asia for the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) sub-region.

Source: KNN India

8. First Dutch Zero-Emission Inland Vessel Uses Interchangeable Batteries : INLAND WATERWAYS

Inland shipping is one of the areas that is becoming an early adopter of innovative zero-emission shipping. Recently, the first Dutch vessel using a unique system of interchangeable batteries launched as part of a plan to build out the system known as ZES (Zero Emission Service) across the waterways in the Netherlands.

The Alphenaar, a 295-foot inland cargo barge, became the first vessel to operate under the ZES system sailing between Alphen aan den Rijn and Moerdijk transporting beer for Heineken. Together with CCT shipping, Heineken is the first ZES customer with a ten-year contract to operate between the Heineken brewery in Zoeterwoude and the Port of Rotterdam.

Source: Maritime Executive

9. Logistics agreement with Russia shortly, in final stages with U.K. : LOGISTICS

India is all set to conclude the bilateral logistics agreement with Russia soon while the agreement with the U.K. is in the final stages of conclusion. The Navy has been the biggest beneficiary of these administrative arrangements, signed with several countries, improving operational turnaround and increasing inter-operability on the high seas.

“With Russia, the Reciprocal Exchange of Logistics Agreement (RELOS) is likely to be signed in a month or two while the one with the U.K. is in the final stages and should see conclusion soon,” a defence source said. Negotiations with a few more countries including Vietnam are in the preliminary stages, officials said.

Source: The Hindu

10. Decoding the National Logistics Policy : LOGISTICS

The National Logistics Policy is aimed at streamlining and strengthening India’s logistics sector, promoting the seamless movement of goods across the country, and increasing the ease of doing business for players in the sector.

The logistics sector is considered the backbone of India’s economy, estimated to be worth $215 billion, growing at a CAGR of 10.5 percent. However, the sector is plagued with numerous bottlenecks, including fragmentation, informalisation, and wastage.

To bring down India’s high logistics and supply chain costs, the government is on the verge of adopting the National Logistics Policy (NLP), which the Ministry of Commerce and Industry says will enable “closer collaboration with the logistics division”.

Source: Your Story

11. Indian Railways registers record freight of 110.55 mn tonnes in August : RAILWAYS

Indian Railways on Wednesday said it registered its highest ever freight loading and earnings during the month of August, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indian Railways’ freight loading during August 2021 stood at 110.55 million tonnes, 16.87 per cent higher than 94.59 million tonnes in August 2020.

“Indian Railways also earned Rs 10,866.20 crore from freight loading during August 2021 which is 20.16 per cent higher compared to August 2020 (Rs 9,043.44 crore),”a release from the Ministry of Railways said.

The railways transported 47.94 million tonnes of coal, 13.53 million tonnes of iron ore, 5.77 million tonnes of pig iron and finished steel, 6.88 million tonnes of foodgrains, 4.16 million tonnes of fertilisers, 3.60 million tonnes of mineral oil, 6.3 million tonnes of cement (excluding clinker) and 4.51 million tonnes of clinker, among others, during August.

Source: Business Today

12. Railways shuts enterprise that invited bids for hydrogen fuel trains; no effect on projects : RAILWAYS & METRO

RAILWAY MINISTRY under Ashwani Vaishnaw has decided to shut down the Indian Railways Organization of Alternate Fuel (IROAF), a separate enterprise working in the field of green fuels for transport that had recently invited bids for hydrogen fuel cell-based technology for trains.

“Ministry of Railways has decided to close down the Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuels’ with effect from September 7, 2021,” an order issued on Tuesday stated.

Source: Indian Express

13. Green hydrogen gets another push in India’s proposed new renewable energy rules : RENEWABLE ENERGY

The Union government has proposed a new set of rules “Draft Electricity (promoting renewable energy through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2021” for purchase and consumption of green energy, including the energy from waste-to-energy plants.

The proposed rules aim to push for faster adoption of renewable power by addressing various concerns related to the green energy sector. The Union power ministry has put the rules online on August 16 and sought comments from all stakeholders within 30 days. The draft rules identify green energy as electrical energy generated from renewable sources of energy for consumers, including industries that have a load of 100 kW or more.


14. Can India Become a Major Renewable Energy Player? : RENEWABLE ENERGY

Successful economies have several things in common, including a stable and reliable energy system with relatively affordable prices for households and businesses. This puts developing countries such as India in a difficult position as their infrastructure is mostly underdeveloped and production largely dependent on the marginal costs of fossil fuels.

There seems to be momentum, however, in favor of decarbonizing developing countries from the perspective of investors. The Indian market is showing signs that it could be one of the largest benefactors of a movement that could boost renewables in the Asian country.


15. Utilities across Asia, Mideast turn to high-sulfur fuel oil as LNG prices bite : RESOURCES AND UTILITIES

Surging liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices are prompting utilities across Asia and the Middle East to burn more high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) than usual to meet increased power demand during summer, analysts and traders said.

The move towards the cheaper but more polluting HSFO highlights the problems faced by developing countries which have to grapple with the economics of lower costs versus meeting emission-cutting standards.

The strong demand for the residual fuel oil could last beyond the summer as the global economic recovery from the coronavirus gathers momentum and global LNG prices hold firm at more than twice where they averaged in 2020, the analysts said.

“With (spot) LNG prices surpassing HSFO, power generation plants are switching from gas to oil where possible,” said Serena Huang, Vortexa’s Asia lead analyst, highlighting strong power demand in the Middle East, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Source: Reuters

16. Energy equity: Reforming utilities’ business plans by rebalancing ratepayers’ financial risks : RESOURCES AND UTILITIES

The dramatic buildout of the renewable energy economy over the past decade, now accelerated with battery and other storage systems and escalating demand for clean electrification of everything from transportation to the kitchen stove, is abruptly turning the pipedreams of environmentalists into the nightmares of utility boardrooms.

Accustomed since Edison’s time to the profitable freedoms of monopoly control and the blandishments of their captive regulators, utilities across the country are fighting tooth and nail with ratepayers’ money to prevent their business model from being unplugged and replaced with consumer and community-owned and controlled systems of renewable electricity generation and distribution that are cheaper and better for the planet.

Source: Utility Dive

17. Gadkari warns action against consultancy firms for poor project preparation & supervision : ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has warned consultants engaged in preparing project reports (DPRs) and supervising the highway projects of major penal action in case of any structure failure or road accidents. He also warned them of going to the extent of filing FIRs for their negligence that claims any life, sources said.

Gadkari made these comments while chairing an interaction more than two dozen consultancy firms on Tuesday over several issues including poor quality of DPRs and poor monitoring of works during construction and maintenance phases.

Source: Times of India

18. Around 20 highways in India will have emergency airstrips: Nitin Gadkari : ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

The newly inaugurated Emergency Landing Field (ELF) on the National Highway-925 in Rajasthan has been built keeping in view the strategic importance as it’s nearly situated at a distance of 40 kms from the Pakistan border and could be used for various purposes, said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in an exclusive conversation with India TV Editor-In-Chief and Chairman, Rajat Sharma in Aaj Ki Baat.

Source: India TV News

19. The disappearing wetlands of India : WATER & ENVIRONMENT

The presence of wetlands in urban India is almost taken for granted. These stagnating marshes and bogs are instinctively seen as dumping grounds for construction and other waste material. Almost every city and town in India probably has that wetland which is suffocating under eutrophication thanks to proliferating water hyacinth and algae.

As the water body and the life forms in it fight a losing battle, the final nail in the coffin is served by the real estate mafia who nibble away slowly but steadily at the wetland till enough land is cleared up to be encroached. Thus, in this manner another wetland in India would have died a silent death.

Source: Daily Pioneer

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