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i-maritime News Letter

Ennore port to look at alternative source to fund its projects - 2013-04-12

The Ennore port proposes to explore alternative source of funds for its various projects as its recent public issue of tax-free bonds failed to attract subscribers. The country’s youngest Major Port, which has a Mini-Ratna status, could raise only Rs 95 crore from the Rs 1,000-crore bond issue. “It was a very wrong time to issue the bond,” said M.A. Baskarachar, Chairman, Ennore Port Ltd (EPL).

“However, not a single project will be delayed due to the failure of the bonds issue,” he told newspersons. “We were not the only one to be affected. Other bonds issue too failed,” he said. The next bonds issue may not be as high as Rs 1,000 crore but could be of Rs 500-600 crore, he said without elaborating on the alternative source of funding that the port was considering. “We will ask the Government to make the future bonds issue more attractive for subscribers. In the previous issues certain clarifications came very late, which affected the subscription,” he said.

The port wanted to raise Rs 1,000 crore for financing capital dredging (Rs 400 crore), connectivity projects (Rs 300 crore) and acquiring about 750 acres of salt land (Rs 300 crore). “We will now look at alternative source of funding in the next six months,” he said. According to R. Senthil Kumar, General Manager, EPL, the port registered a 19.58 per cent increase in cargo throughput to 17.89 million tonnes (mt) as against 14.96 mt previous year.

While most of the other major ports were struggling at an average growth of around 3 per cent, we managed to have a 20 per cent growth. This was the highest by any port in the country, he said. A press release says that EPL has reduced all its charges by 20 per cent across the board and additional 20 per cent rebate for car cargo during November 2012. According to Kumar, during the 12{+t}{+h} Plan, the port has plans to double the cargo handling capacity to 60 mt. This will involve an investment of Rs 5,890 crore.

Source : Hindu Business Line