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Published: 4 September 2013      

ZPMC shut out of India

Indian media and financial press are abuzz with the news that ZPMC has been denied security clearance to supply six STS cranes and 20 RTGs to Gammon Infrastructure Projects for its new Indira Container Terminal (ICT) at India’s Mumbai port.

The tender for the cranes was put out over a year ago and in December 2012 it emerged that awarding a contract to ZPMC was being held up by security issues. India has a long history of barring Chinese companies, including China Harbour Engineering and Hutchison Port Holdings, from building and operating ports in the country. ZPMC has encountered difficulties and delays before, but has not hitherto been prevented from supplying cranes.

ZPMC has supplied Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd (GPPL), which is operated by APMT, with STS and RTG cranes. Other orders include eight STS cranes to APMT in Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP) and four to DP World for the Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal in Kochi (delivered in 2010).

In 2011, ZPMC reported several orders in India, including six STS cranes for the Kattupalli Container Terminal in Tamil Nadu (a joint venture between ICTSI and L&T Shipbuilding), six STS cranes to Mundra and four to Chennai. Noell China has also delivered 15 RTGs to Kattupalli.

In November 2011, Anupam Industries and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced a joint venture to build container cranes in India and in 2012 Anupam-MHI reported an order for three STS cranes for JNP in Mumbai. No other crane manufacturer reported an order for STS cranes for India in WorldCargo News’s annual July market surveys in 2012 and 2013.

Shutting ZPMC out of the market creates yet another delay for ICT. Gammon and Dragados won the right to build the terminal in 2007 but it has been besieged with problems over dredging, construction and finance. Dragados sold part of its share to Gammon and was meant to sell the remainder after the terminal had been operating for three years. However, earlier this year it emerged that Gammon was negotiating to find another partner and complete the project.

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