It’s official now. Gautam Adani-controlled Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone on Monday announced that it has, through is subsidiary Adani Kattupalli Port Private (AKPPL), entered into an in-principle agreement for the strategic acquisition of Kattupalli Port in Tamil Nadu from L&T Shipbuilding (LTSB), a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro.
As a precursor to this deal, on Ocober 3, Adani Ports had informed the stock exchanges that that it had entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with L&T Shipbuilding for evaluating the operations of the Kattupalli Port, with effect from October 2015 for a period of one month. However, financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
“This is subject to receiving the necessary approvals from the government of Tamil Nadu and Central government and the port is being demerged from LTSB. Currently, L&T operates both the port and shipyard under a single entity LTSB”, the Adani Ports said in a statement.
Gautam Adani, chairman, Adani Group said: “The Kattupalli agreement is yet another step by us to continue the development of the port infrastructure that is critical for our country. The Kattupalli port is a strategic complement to our Ennore container terminal which is getting commissioned next year. Both these ports will substantially help reduce congestion in the region and will thereby help contribute to the rapid growth of the state of Tamil Nadu and the surrounding regions.” Pending necessary approvals, Adani Ports will be taking over the operations of the port.
Kattupalli is a deep water all-weather port with an international container terminal located 34 kms from Chennai. The port commenced commercial operations in January 2013 and has two berths with a total quay length of about 710 meters. The berths are equipped with six quay cranes and designed to handle container, dry bulk and break-bulk cargo. Currently, the port has a cargo handling capacity of 12 million TEUs per annum. Besides, the port has already received environmental approval for further expansion.
The Kattupalli port is located adjacent to and north of Ennore Port, where Adani Port is developing the Ennore container terminal. The move is yet another step to continue to build out a network of ports across the Indian coastline and further expand its footprint across the South East Coast.
The Adani Group, with revenues of over $10 billion owns and operates seven ports and terminals such as Mundra, Dahej, Kandla and Hazira in Gujarat, Dhamra in Orissa, Mormugao in Goa and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.