Mundra SEZ to take over Dholera port development from JK Group

Mundra SEZ to take over Dholera port development from JK Group

Mumbai: Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd (MPSEZ), a unit of the diversified Adani Group, is awaiting regulatory clearance to take over the rights to develop a Rs1,500 crore new port at Dholera, in Gujarat, which was originally awarded to the JK Group, a top official has said.

“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with the JK Group to take over the rights to develop and operate Dholera port. We are currently awaiting clearance from the Gujarat Maritime Board to develop the new port. As soon as the regulatory approval comes, we will firm up plans for the port," the official, who did not want to be named, said.

Dholera Port Ltd, the port operating company, will set up facilities to handle 4 million tonnes (mt) of general cargo, containers and chemicals in the first phase of the project, which is estimated to cost about Rs500 crore.

The Adani Group runs the Mundra Port, India’s largest private port, which has a capacity to handle 150mt of bulk, liquid and containerized cargo by 2025. It has a depth of 17.5m, making it the deepest port in India, which can allow large bulk carriers to berth for loading and unloading cargo.

The Adani Group is developing a 13,000 hectare special economic zone (SEZ)—with Mundra Port as its mainstay— with the first phase covering 2,550 hectares.

Market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), is expected to clear the draft prospectus filed by MPSEZ in about 10 days.

After getting Sebi clearance, MPSEZ will file the final prospectus with the regulator to sell about 10% stake in the company to raise about Rs1,500 crore, the official said. This will make MPSEZ the first port and SEZ company to be listed on the stock exchange.

“We should be able to hit the market with the share sale in the second half of October," said the official, who did not want to be named ahead of a clearance from Sebi.

In a May order, Sebi had barred the promoters of Adani Group from raising funds from the public when MPSEZ sought approval for a stake sale in March, this year. However, the Securities Appellate Tribunal stayed the Sebi order.

The IPO (initial public offering) proceeds will be utilized to fund a Rs2,000 crore, 30mt- a-year coal terminal at Mundra Port, develop a part of the SEZ, set up a multi-purpose port to handle solid cargo at Dahej in Gujarat along with Petronet LNG Ltd, and build inland container depots (ICDs) in the country. MPSEZ holds a 74% stake in Adani Petronet (Dahej) Port Pvt. Ltd that is developing the Dahej port.

The planned coal terminal will cater to the requirements of its wholly-owned subsidiary Adani Power Ltd, which is setting up a 2,640MW power plant in three phases. It will also be used by the two ultra mega power plants being set up in the state.

The Adani Group is also in talks with the French firm CMA-CGM, the world’s third biggest container shipping line, to sell a 26% stake in Adani Logistics Ltd that has won rights to run container trains across India for 20 years.

“We are looking for a partner to run container trains and are in the documentation stage to sell a 26% stake to CMA-CGM," the official said. He declined to give further details. The firm is expected to start operating container trains this month.

The Adani Group is also in talks with the Dubai government-owned port operator DP World to sell the just completed second container terminal at Mundra Port.

As per the original agreement signed with P&O Ports (now acquired by DP World), the Adani Group is bound to sell the second container terminal to DP World after the first container terminal, run by the Dubai firm, handles 0.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units (teus) a year.

“When DP World handles 0.75 million teus a year, we agree on the terms and hand over the second terminal to them," the official said.

The Mundra container terminal run by DP World handled 0.46 million teus in 2006 and is expected to close 2007 with a traffic of 0.65 million teus.

A teu is the standard size of a container and is a common measure of capacity in the container business.