Oil majors Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil Corp and Hindustan Petroleum are keen on a consortium to take up a storage facility for the Rs 6,595-crore Vizhinjam Seaport and International Container Transshipment Terminal project. Following discussions with Kerala, the state government has offered ready land for the proposed storage facility.
“About 100 acres of land has been identified in Vizhinjam, near the Balaramapuram town” says CM Oommen Chandy. “The state government will also facilitate right-of-way for the proposed consortium, so that they can lay the pipelines along the 15-km railway line to the project site.”
The port development for Vizhinjam follows the landlord port model, where dredging, reclamation and basic external infrastructure work, such as construction of break-water and quay wall, will be taken up by VISL (Vizhinjam International Seaport).
Earlier this week, the Centre agreed to consider waiver of cabotage fees for the project. A decision on this is expected in a month. It was confusion over the cabotage waiver that prevented potential infra-builders from bidding for the project. Three firms who picked up EoIs ( Expression of Interest papers) had failed to turn up at the bidding date on March 31. After detailed discussions with these firms, the state had extended the date of opening bids. This date is likely to be April 24, at the latest, sources told FE.
Land has been identified for the bunkering project too. This project could ease hazardous consignments from the heavily congested road network in Kerala, which suffers at least 400 oil tankers inching southward from the Kochi Refineries every day.