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JNPT to invite fresh bids for setting Rs 9,000 crore terminal - 2013-05-31

Global container operators and domestic port operators are making a beeline to participate in the construction of a container terminal valued about Rs 9,000 crore at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai. JNPT is expected to invite bids for the project next week and the trustees of the port will meet to take a decision on the bids. The board is also expected to finalise to split the project into two.

The fourth container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust has been delayed by more than three years. One of the largest container terminal in the country, it can handle more than seven vessels at a time and is expected to be revenue churner. Companies looking to participate in the project include Dubai-based DP World, Maersk-operated APM Terminals, Adani Ports, Essar Ports and Larsen & Toubro.

The fourth terminal at JNPT will have a capacity of 4.8 million teu and a berth of 2 km in length which will make it one of the largest in the country. The project is expected to reduce the capacity constraints at the port as it operates at more than 100% of its capacity according to JNPT former chairman L Radhakrishnan.

The Union shipping ministry is also looking to award the project at the earliest as it has been delayed by more than three years after a consortium of Port of Singapore and ABG Ports backed. The consortium had outbid others then by offering to share more than 50% of the revenue to JNPT. The consortium then backed out citing various reasons which included ABG's decision to move out of the project and the port was then forced to invite fresh bids for the project. Senior officials at the port also told ET that the companies decided to back out of the project after realising that the revenue share offered was very high.

Companies are now expected to be more frugal while offering a revenue share to the port. "This time, we expect competitive bidding. PSA had offered exorbitant rates the last time bids were invited and the port decided to go ahead with it without even considering the quality of work done by others", said the MD of a leading port operator in the country.

Source: The Economic Times