Eight Indian and foreign companies have shown interest in bidding for the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trusts (JNPT) R8,000-crore mega container terminal project till now,JNPTs chairman-in-charge NN Kumar said. The terminal,which has been in limbo for three years,is crucial to JNPTs expansion plans as it is expected to increase double the ports capacity.
We have received a good response to our request for qualification. Some of the companies who have shown interest to bid include Port of Singapore (PSA),APM Terminals,Adani Group and DP World, Kumar said. Interestingly,PSA had walked out of the terminal project after winning the bid last year.
The bidding companies will have time till July 19 to submit their qualification documents.
The fourth terminal ran into problems as the consortium led by PSA,which is one of the largest port operators in the world,and Indias ABG Group abandoned the project last year due to internal issues. JNPT had planned to award the fourth container terminal project to a private partner by March this year,but that has not happened.
This mega terminal is expected to add 4.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per annum,helping JNPT achieve its goal of 10.5 million TEUs over the next five years. Currently,JNPT is working at a capacity of 115%,way higher than the 60-70% capacity that ports abroad run at. Ships entering India face a longer turnaround time,which raises the cost of business for shipping lines and exporters.
The project was split into two phases of R4,000 crore each last year,under the
suggestion of the ports former chairman L Radhakrishnan. However,in May this year,the shipping ministry decided to again merge the two smaller projects back into one project.
Due to the delays in expansion,JNPT,which handles about 60% of the countrys container traffic,is losing cargo traffic to ports like Mundra,Indias largest private port. Mundras traffic rose 33% for the fiscal year ended March 31 compared to the previous year. On the other hand,JNPT saw a 1.8% drop in yearly cargo.