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Kerala cabinet to decide on Vizhinjam bid


SHANAVAS. S | Kochi, March 5, 2012 15:35
Tags : Kerala cabinet | Welspun-Leighton consortium | bid | Vizhinjam International Seaport | Container Transhipment Terminal | port | Home Ministry clearance | container traffic | transshipment of cargo | Arabian Sea | Thiruvananthapuram |


Kerala cabinet is likely to take a final decision on the lone bid submitted by the Welspun-Leighton consortium to run the proposed Vizhinjam International Seaport and Container Transhipment Terminal this week. The consortium, consisting of Welspun Infratech, Welspun Corp and Australia-based Leighton Engineering Holdings, has asked the state an up-front grant of Rs 479.54 cr over an initial 16 years of their 30 year concession.
The up-front grant demanded is in terms of net present value. If the bid is accepted, Welspun will invest Rs 970 crore on the port superstructure at India’s deepest port. The port will be operated by the consortium for the first thirty years and will be handed over to the state after the period.
Initially, more than 14 firms/consortiums, including the state-run Shipping Corporation shown interest in the project. But the consortium led by Welspun Infratech and another led by Adani Ports only put up technical bids.
Finally, as Adani was refused Home Ministry clearance, Welspun got the deal and submitted their bid. The Cabinet had appointed a committee led by the State Chief Secretary to evaluate the bid and the committee submitted its report last month. Now, the fate of the bid will be decided by the Cabinet.
The container traffic at the Indian ports shows a steady growth in the last decade. Currently, majority of these ports rely on direct services or use far off ports for their transshipment needs. Once the Vizhinjam International Seaport is realised, Indian exporters will not have to rely on foreign ports for transshipment of cargo. It is expected to save at least Rs 1000 crores in expenditure annually. With the minimal capital dredging, the project cost and maintenance cost will be minimum. And, it will be a plus point for Vizhinjam.
The proposed port beset by the Arabian Sea at Thiruvananthapuram, the Southern tip of Indian peninsula is just 10 nautical miles from the International Shipping Lane. Unlike other ports like in India, Vizhinjam port is nature made and blessed with a natural seawater depth of up to 24 m (There are only seven places in the world with more than twenty metre depth near the land). It is as close as one nautical mile from the seacoast and which help to attract the largest container vessels to the port.
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Posted By: Pradeep | Kerala | March 10th 2012 | 00:03
Good article highlighting the advantages of Vizhinjam. But I have to point out that Rs 970 cr was the minimum requirement set by Goverment of Kerala to be spend by Port Operator. Welspun has offered to invest Rs 1100 cr itself in first phase alone.

Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017