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Vizhinjam Port: Kerala to decide on Welspun bid this week - 2012-03-05

The Kerala Cabinet is likely to take a final call this week on the fate of the lone bid submitted by the Welspun-led consortium to run the proposed Vizhinjam Port in the southern part of the state, an official said.

“The Welspun bid is being examined at the Cabinet level.

I hope to get a clear picture this week after the Cabinet meeting. If that happens, I am hopeful of inviting the EPC contract this month itself, Kerala PWD Secretary Mr Manoj Joshi told PTI over phone from Thiruvananthapuram.

If the Welspun bid is accepted, it will invest Rs 970 crore on the port superstructure, but will receive Rs 479.54 crore as grant from the State towards operating expenses over 16 years. It will be port operator for the first 30 years, after which it has to be handed over to the State.

The consortium — consisting of Welspun Infratech, Welspun Corp and Australia-based Leighton Engineering Holdings — has sought an up-front grant of Rs 479.54 crore from the State to be spread over an initial period of 16 years.

The grant demanded is in terms of net present value.

The Cabinet had opened the Welspun bid on February 7.

As many as 14 firms/consortiums, including the state-run Shipping Corporation, had initially shown interest in the project, but only a consortium led by Welspun Infratech and another led by Adani Ports put up the technical bids.

Adani was not given the Home Ministry clearance.

Asked whether he is personally comfortable with the high Government grant of Rs 480 crore, Mr Joshi said he is not expected to share his personal opinion on the issue with the media.

Source: Hindu Business Line