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FRENCH shipping & logistics firm Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) and Mumbai-based ABG Ports have inked a 49:51 JV for offering efficient port and logistics services to customers and Indian ports. ABG also plans to transfer the ABG group’s bulk handling division to this new JV.

   The new JV company, christened ABG-LDA, is looking at an investment of $80 million by October 2009 and is looking at a first full year income of Rs 180-300 crore. Investment will include buying barges as well as cranes for its operations. “We hope to register a total tonnage of about 10-30 million tonnes during 2010-11. And with handling rates of at Rs 75-100 per tonne we are looking at a first year revenue of Rs 180-300 crore,” said Mr Saket Agarwal, director ABG Bulk Handling said.

   “Having established a formidable presence in the growing infrastructure space of the economy, being one of the two largest crane rentals company in the country, and a presence on both the coasts of the country for container terminal operations at Kandla and Kolkata, it was only logical that ABG entered into the business of handling bulk cargo. Currently ABG is handling bulk cargo at three ports. It is operating mobile harbour cranes at New Mangalore, Paradip and Vizag ports,” said Mr Agarwal.

   Additionally, ABG-LDA proposes to offer customized barging solution to bring back volumes and thereby provide stimulus to steel and power sector and other economic activities in and around Haldia. The Haldia port has been suffering due to lack of draft.

   LDA is a worldwide specialist in bulk transportation and logistics. With a 40 unit fleet of capsize, panamax, floating cranes, barges and tugs, LDA offers a wide variety of services. The company handles about 60 million tonnes of dry cargo transportation and logistics. During 2008 the company registered a revenue of € 1 billion.

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