Bangalore: The shipping ministry has allowed Paradip port in Orissa to auction its coal handling berth once again, after a second round of bidding attracted lower price quotations than the first.
“We have given permission to Paradip port to re-invite price bids for the coal berth,” said Rakesh Srivastava, joint secretary looking after ports in the shipping ministry.
The auction, however, will be applicable only to the five entities shortlisted in the earlier rounds.
“Instead of going through the whole process afresh, we felt it was better to restrict the fresh round of bidding to the shortlisted, security-cleared bidders so that the auction process could be concluded faster,” Srivastava said.
The five entities are miner Rio Tinto India Pvt. Ltd, Mundra Port and SEZ Ltd (MPSEZ), the Larsen and Toubro Ltd-TM International Logistics Ltd combine, Essar Shipping, Ports and Logistics Ltd and a consortium comprising Hong Kong-based commodity trader Noble Group Ltd, Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd and state-owned MMTC Ltd.
Paradip port chairman K. Raghuramaiah had said earlier the port’s board had recommended auctioning the coal berth again because the price quotation received in second round of bidding that concluded on 15 April was lower than in the earlier round.
The bidder willing to share the highest percentage of his annual operating gross revenue with the Union government-owned port wins the right to develop and operate the berth for 30 years.
In the second round of bidding, the Adani Group-promoted MPSEZ Ltd, which runs India’s biggest port outside state control, had submitted the highest price quotation of 12% for the Rs479-crore terminal with a proposed capacity to handle 10 million tonnes (of coal a year. However, that was lower than the 24% quoted by Essar Shipping in the earlier round.
The first round of price bidding was scrapped following a ruling from the Orissa high court on a petition filed by one of the bidders.