Bangalore: Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto Plc. is among the companies competing to develop and operate coal and iron ore terminals at state-owned Paradip Port in Orissa.
Paradip, India’s second busiest iron ore handling port after the state-owned Mormugao Port in Goa, plans to build a Rs591.35 crore terminal to handle iron ore, and a Rs479.01 crore terminal for coal, each with an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes.
When fully operational, the two berths will have deep drafts or depth of 16m, capable of handling ships with a cargo carrying capacity of 125,000 tonnes initially and 185,000 tonnes eventually.
New berths: Paradip is India’s second busiest iron ore handling port.
Rio Tinto will be bidding for the project along with companies such as Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T); Lanco Infratech Ltd; Mundra Port and SEZ Ltd; Essar Shipping Ports and Logistics Ltd; and Sical Logistics Ltd.
While Rio Tinto will bid through its Indian unit Rio Tinto India Pvt. Ltd, L&T has teamed up with TM International Logistics Ltd, a joint venture logistics firm floated by Tata Steel Ltd and Germany’s Martrade Holdings GmbH.
Lanco Infratech and group company Lanco Kondapalli Power Pvt. Ltd have been allowed to bid for the project in partnership with Gulftainer Co. Ltd.
Emirates Trading Agency Llc. has tied up with Ras Al Khaimah-based port operator Saqr Port Authority for the project, while Sical Logistics has partnered with Orissa Stevedores.
The L&T team has bid only for the coal terminal, while Sical is in the fray for the iron ore berth. The remaining entities are bidding for both the berths.
“We have invited price proposals from these firms who have been technically qualified to bid for the projects,” Paradip Port chairman K. Raghuramaiah said over the phone from Paradip.
Firms have until 12 February to submit the price bids, he said. The bidder willing to share the highest percentage of its annual operating gross revenues with the government-owned port will win the rights to develop and operate the berths for 30 years.
Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the two projects ahead of inviting price bids by Paradip Port. The tariff regulator for India’s state-owned ports such as Paradip had approved handling charges for the two terminals in August.
The Tariff Authority for Major Ports has set a handling charge of Rs157 per tonne for the iron ore terminal.
As for the coal terminal, the handling charge has been set at Rs130 per tonne for thermal coal and foreign coal cargo, and Rs78 per tonne for coal used locally.
These rates will be indexed to the Wholesale Price Index, a measure of inflation, to the extent of 60% every year to account for rising prices.