Monday, 6 October, 2008

Port of Marseille signs sister port agreement with MbPT

The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and the Port of Marseille Authority (PMA) signed a sister port agreement on September 30, 2008 in Mumbai to foster experience-sharing in the areas of engineering, management, security, city - port relations and sustainable development. The agreement pledges to promote mutual trade and development between the two ports.

The agreement was signed by Rahul Asthana, Chairman of the MbPT and Jean-Claude Terrier, Managing Director of the PAM, in the presence of Rakesh Shrivastava, Joint Secretary (Ports) of the Indian Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Mr Fran├žois Pujolas, French Consul General and Head of the Economic Mission in India.

With the signing of the agreement a significant rise in traffic is expected in the near future between Mumbai Port - the numero uno port in India which handles break-bulk, over-dimensional and project cargoes, motor vehicles, liquid bulk cargoes and passenger traffic and Marseille Port the leading port in France and the Mediterranean and the third oil port in the world.

The sister port agreement is a clear indication of the Indian market’s interest in Marseille-Fos port, the only general cargo port in southern Europe to boast such wide-ranging facilities. The port is fully equipped to cater to containers, automobile logistics and petroleum products. For each of these activities, the port offers large-capacity terminals, sites available for the development of logistics and storage activities, and a variety of goods dispatching networks (maritime, inland waterways, rail and pipelines). Marseille Fos port can satisfy the requirements of Indian companies looking to establish efficient connections with the European and North African markets.

Maritime trade between Marseille Fos port and MbPT has been limited to 60,000 tonnes, including miscellaneous goods, liquid bulk and dry bulk. However, in the light of the sister port agreement with Mumbai port, growing trade contacts and the dynamic status of the Indian economy, a significant rise in traffic is expected in the near future.
Regarding it as a momentous day in the history of MbPT, Mr Asthana said, “We feel privileged to enter into the Sister Port Agreement with the Port of Marseille Authority, which like Mumbai Port, the Port of Marseille Authority is a public authority with its own corporate status and financial independence.”
He informed that over the last five years, the volume of traffic handled at Mumbai Port has more than doubled to surpass 57 million tonnes during 2007-08. MbPT has drawn up an ambitious Business Plan, in consultation with the KPMG consortium, and embarked upon a massive programme of modernization and doubling the handling capacity in all the spheres of its operations. Thus, the Offshore Container Terminal Project, re-development of Harbour Wall Berths and the second liquid chemical jetty is expected to be commissioned by 2010-2011. By 2012-13, the Port plans to commission the fifth oil berth as well as a new, modern cruise terminal.
Describing Marseille-Fos as Europe’s gateway for trade with the rest of the world, Mr Terrier stressed that the two ports had much to offer each other. "The sister port agreement will pave the way for a new era of cooperation between the two ports as well as with the two countries", he emphasized. PMA’s hinterland comprises South Europe: Spain, Italy, South Germany, Switzerland, the Mediterranean countries of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and the West Coast of Africa. The port can be a hub for all these regions.
Marseille Fos Port Authority is the leading port in France and the Mediterranean and third oil port worldwide. As a multi-commodity port it handles various types of traffic including crude oil and oil products (oil, gas and chemical products), general cargo (containers and other packaging), dry bulk (minerals and cereals) and liquid bulk (chemicals and food).The Port also caters to passenger traffic from cruises and regular shipping lines to Corsica and North Africa.

Being a City Port like Mumbai Port, the Port of Marseille Authority has to handle city-port issues similar to the ones we confront and strive for synergy by recognizing that the Port development projects offer potential for the creation of added value for the city, and similarly, that the city development projects open newer horizons for the Port to give added value to the activities at the Port.

PMA is particularly honoured to have concluded this partnership with one of the most influential ports on the Indian continent. MbPT handles annual traffic of 35.14 million tonnes. Traffic between PMA and India last year was almost 300,000 tonnes, including 176,000 t of miscellaneous goods, 60,000 tonnes of liquid bulk and 53,000 tonnes of dry bulk. Almost 20% of this trade is conducted by Mumbai port.


Velu said...

This is good news. We can always use all the help for improving our ports.


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