Mumbai: Thirteen companies have been shortlisted for developing nine new ports in Gujarat, technical bids for which opened on Tuesday. The Gujarat government is expanding port capacities to meet the rising demand for export and import trade in the world’s second fastest growing economy.
The companies that have filed include Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd, GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd, Adani Group, Larsen & Toubro Ltd, SKIL Infrastructure Ltd, IL&FS Ltd, Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd, Afcons Infrastructure Ltd, Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd, DS Constructions Ltd, JSW Infrastructure & Logistics Ltd, Central Warehousing Corp. Ltd and Sterling Biotech Ltd.
Ports in Gujarat located at Mundra, Pipavav, Hazira, Dahej, Jamnagar and Sikka currently have the capacity to handle 180 million tonnes (mt) of cargo. These ports handled over 130mt of cargo in the year ended March.
Gammon Infrastructure has selected Dragados SPL, the biggest port operator in Spain, as its port operating partner while GVK Power and Infrastructure has tied-up with Malaysia’s largest multipurpose port operator North Port (Malaysia) Bhd for this purpose. Zoom Developers said Portia Management Services Ltd will be its port operator. Portia Management is the wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based port operator Peel Ports Ltd.
“By 2011-12, we want to create a port capacity of 400mt a year. This means, we need to create additional capacity of 220mt in five years,” said H.K. Dash, CEO of Gujarat Maritime Board, the maritime regulator that oversees the development of ports owned by the state.
The development of the nine greenfield ports at Bedi, Modhva, Mithivirdi, Simar, Vansi Borsi, Dahej, Sutrapada, Khambat and Mahuva, is expected to cost about Rs13,500 crore, Dash said.
These nine port projects will be awarded to private operators for a period of 30 years. The development of a new port at Porbundar failed to attract any bidders.
Modhva port project has attracted maximum bidders— Gammon Infrastructure Projects, the Adani Group, GVK Power and Infrastructure, a joint venture between Hira Exports and KARP, a consortium comprising Pranay Leasing and Financial Services, Man Infrastructure and Jakari Holdings Pvt. Ltd.
Gammon Infrastructure Projects, a unit of Mumbai-based construction firm Gammon India Ltd, will compete with central government-owned Central Warehousing Corp. for the Bedi port project and with Creative Port Development Pvt. Ltd for the Vansi Borsi project.
The Gujarat Maritime Board has received four EoIs for Simar port. These are JSW Infrastructure, a consortium comprising Shapoorji Pallonji, Afcons Infrastructure and Forbes Gokak, Zoom Developers and a consortium of Agni Financials and Balaji Infra Projects Ltd.
A consortium of IL&FS Ltd and SKIL Infrastructure Ltd is competing with another consortium of Gremach Infrastructure Equipment and Projects Ltd and OM Metals Ltd for developing MithiVirdi port.
IL&FS has also submitted an interest for building Khambat port and is pitted against a consortium comprising pharma firm Sterling Biotech and US-based Virginia Economic Development Pvt. Ltd.
A consortium consisting of DS Constructions and UK-based Apollo, GVK Power and Infrastructure, and chemical firm Nirma Chemical Works Ltd are in the fray to develop the Mahuva port project.
L&T is the lone bidder for the Sutrapada port project, while GVK and Sterling Biotech are competing for the Dahej port project.
Gujarat-owned ports hold the largest share of traffic handled among all the ports run by maritime states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Orissa, Goa, Kerala and Karnataka.
In comparison, the 12 central government-run ports located at Mumbai, Kandla, Chennai, Kolkata, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Tuticorin, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Ennore have a capacity to handle 508mt of cargo a year.
As these ports are owned by the state government, the successful bidder will be free to fix tariffs for the services provided at each of these nine ports. The tariffs at the central government-run ports are set by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports.