Bangalore: The Union government-owned Jawaharlal Nehru (JN) port, India’s busiest container-handling port located in Navi Mumbai, has received eight initial bids, or expressions of interest, for developing a Rs600 crore container terminal to boost capacity and ease congestion.
A port spokesman said the groups that applied for qualification before the deadline ended on 26 February were: DP World Pvt. Ltd, L&T Transco Pvt. Ltd, Group Maritime TCB-Eredene Capital Plc, Mundra Port and SEZ Ltd, Sterlite Industries Ltd-Leighton Contractors (India) Pvt. Ltd, ABG Infralogistics Ltd-IL&FS Maritime Infrastructure Co. Ltd, Vadinar Oil Terminal Ltd-Essar Ports and Terminals Ltd, and SEW Infrastructure Ltd. Mint confirmed the bidding with each group.
The port handles around 50% of India’s container cargo of around 7.85 million standard containers a year. In 2008-09, it handled 3.95 million standard containers, more than its designed capacity of 3.6 million containers. It cannot handle more containers unless it expands capacity.
The port runs one of the three container handling facilities. The other two are run separately by DP World and a joint venture of APM Terminals Management BV and state-owned Container Corp. of India Ltd.
JN port plans to develop a small terminal with a berth length of 330m and a capacity to handle 800,000 containers.
Over the past few years, port container traffic in India has been expanding at an average of 15% a year. At this rate, container traffic is estimated to reach 21 million containers by 2015, whereas the existing capacity is for 9.1 million standard containers, according to the shipping ministry. The port is expected to handle some 10 million containers by 2015.
This is JN port’s second attempt in two years to develop the facility with private funds. In October, the port scrapped an auction for developing a new container terminal after poor response from bidders. Court cases, too, delayed the process that was initiated in 2008.
The port has separately flagged off the tendering process for a Rs6,700 crore terminal that can handle four million containers a year.