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Malaysian cranes maker pulls out of JNPT contract

Mumbai: Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust chairman Shahzad Hussain has revealed that Malaysian crane maker IMPSA (Malaysia) SDN BHD has backed out of a contract to provide three super post-panamax cranes valued at more than Rs100 crore ($25m), writes LiveMint. The contract was awarded early last year and the cranes were to be delivered by May or June, before the monsoons set in.

"They have informed us they cannot deliver the crane on time and want to revise the price upward, for which the port needs further government approvals," Hussain told the news portal. "There is a penal provision for breaching the contract. Though we will take action against the Malaysian company, we will also explore the option of hiring such big cranes to replace some older ones at the port."

He confirmed that port authorities have written to IMPSA seeking its reasons for their backing out of the deal. The Malaysian company is rumoured to be in a restructuring process and facing a possible financial crisis

JNPT, which is India's leading container port and expects a container throughput of 4m teu for this year, could see a severe backlog in its container handling abilities as a result of this situation. "Container backlog has already started way before the monsoons. With frequent breakdowns of old RMQCs at the container terminal, the monsoon is going to be a time of congestion," a shipper told LiveMint on the condition that he would not be identified.  [21/04/08]

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