Mumbai: Country’s largest container port—Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT)—will invite revised bids for its Rs.8,000 crore fourth terminal project next month, a top official has said. “We will be floating a new tender for the rebidding of the fourth terminal next month,” JNPT chairman L. Radhakrishnan said during an interactive seminar recently. He said the project, which is now bifurcated into two, will increase the port’s capacity by over 5.2 million standard container units or TEUs as against the earlier 4.8 million TEUs.
A consortium of ABG Ports Pvt. Ltd and Singapore’s PSA International Pte Ltd had bid aggressively to bag the project last September but later walked out, citing differences between the partners. It had to pay a penalty of Rs.67 crore, but experts say the project got pushed back by over two years. To make up for the delay, the Union shipping ministry had last month announced a revised plan under which two successful bidders will simultaneously start the construction to save time and money. “The revised plan will bring down the construction time from eight years to three years,” Radhakrishnan said.
JNPT, which at present operates one of the three terminals by itself at the port, has worked at 117% capacity during the ongoing FY13, and already handled 1 million TEUs, Radhakrishnan said. It expects to close the fiscal with 1.2 million TEUs as against the installed 1.1 million TEUs, he said. The port handled nearly 60% of the total container traffic in the country and is increasingly facing competition, and is losing market share to private ports coming up elsewhere on the coastline, like Mundra.