Eight players, including Adani Ports, Essar Ports and Dubai Port World, have evinced interest in building the R8,000-crore fourth terminal at the country's largest port JNPT, a top official said on Tuesday.
"We opened the request for qualifications on Monday and a total of eight companies have applied," said JNPT deputy chairman NN Kumar. Those who have applied include Adani Ports, Essar Ports, Dubai Port World, APM Terminals, Port of Singapore Authority, JM Baxi & Company, Mediterranean Shipping Company and Sterlite Ports, which is a division of Vedanta, he said.
The fourth terminal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) would have a capacity of 2.4 million TEUs or standard truck units and a berth of 2 km, making it among the biggest in the country.
Kumar said it will take about 10 days to scrutinise the documents submitted by the companies, after which it will be decided if they qualify to bid or not. Following the qualification, the selected candidates will have to take a security clearance from the Union home ministry.
"Those who pass the qualification and security scrutiny will be invited to bid for construction," Kumar said. The fourth container terminal project has been delayed by three years after a consortium of PSA and ABG Shipyards, which had won the bid by offering to share a surprising 51% revenue share with the government, backed out citing differences. To make up for the lost time, the port mooted the idea of bifurcating the project that work could be carried out simultaneously. However, later it decided to go ahead with the original proposal.
There were reports that the port had put in extra efforts to ensure only bidders with stronger financial muscles and prior experience will be qualified for bidding.