Bangalore: Infrastructure firm Sical Infra Assets Ltd, an arm of Sical Logistics Ltd, and the India Terminal consortium have moved the Madras high court seeking a stay on the tendering process to build a Rs1,300 crore container terminal at the state-owned Ennore port after they were excluded from it.
Port authorities did not include several global container port operators such as PSA International Pte Ltd and DP World Ltd from the tendering process in line with a government policy to restrict the number of shortlisted bidders to six for cargo-handling projects at Central government-owned major ports.
Rising traffic: Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai. Indian ports are expected to handle about 12 million containers by 2012
PSA Ennore Pte Ltd, floated by PSA International to bid for the Ennore project, had earlier moved the Chennai high court questioning the tendering process. It has also sought scrapping of the ongoing tender and the issue of a fresh tender after revising the shortlisting policy. PSA is bidding for the project along with Scheide Container Terminal Noorden and ABG Infralogistics Ltd.
Sical Infra has teamed up with Macquarie Capital Ltd, a unit of Australia’s biggest investment bank Macqaurie Group Ltd, to bid for the project. S. Rangnekar, managing director and group chief executive of Sical Logistics, declined to comment.
The India Terminal consortium include Terminal Investment Ltd, the Samsung group, Shipping Corp. of India Ltd, Container Corp. of India Ltd, Central Warehousing Corp. Ltd and Hind Terminals Pvt. Ltd. An official with the consortium confirmed filing a writ petition in the court.
“It’s a big mess,” said an official with one of the bidders that was excluded from the process, who requested anonimity. S. Velumani, chairman and managing director of Ennore Port Ltd, said the port had followed the government policy. “We cannot deviate from that,” he said.
The litigations are likely to delay the finalization of the contract even as the country’s ports struggle to handle more cargo shipped in steel containers.
Indian ports currently handle about seven million containers a year, and are expected to handle about 12 million containers by 2012.