Dubai Port Bags Contract For Kochi Terminal

Kochi, March 25 | Updated: Mar 26 2004, 05:30am hrs
Kochis hopes for an international container transhipment terminal (ICTT) which had been hitting stumbling blocks for nearly two decades are all set to be fulfilled with Dubai Port Authority (DPA) clinching the final bid on Thursday. Incidentally, the finalisation of the bid comes at a time when the islands off Kochi, including Vallarpadam, have just been connected by road to the mainland.

Port authorities said that while nine companies had qualified, only three participated in the final bid for the Rs 2,000-crore ICTT project set to come up at Vallarpadam. DPA had made the highest 33.33 per cent revenue-sharing offer while IL&FS quoted 10.123. Maersk, the third company in the final race, did not submit a proper bid and was ruled out.

Port deputy chairman Janardhana Rao told FE that the revenue-sharing offer of 33.33 per cent was the best and the port board would meet soon to approve it and forward it to the Centre.

He said that while nine companies had submitted requests several of them, though enthusiastic, had sought extension. It had been years since the project was conceived and all the companies had been given sufficient time, he added.

According to port sources, the project was to come up at Vallarpadam, the site proposed when the idea was mooted way back in the early 80s. The company would be allowed to operate the present Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal (RGCT) and the port would receive Rs 50 crore on this count. The rate fixed by DPA for the present equipment was Rs 40 crore and that for land use was Rs 10 crore. As per the agreement, DPA would operate the RGCT for six years or till 4 lakh TEUs was achieved and then move to the new terminal.

The sources said DPA would have to put in around Rs 2,000 crore for the Vallarpadam terminal and the revenue-sharing of 33.33 per cent would benefit the port. About the earlier suggestion of shifting the site to nearby Puthuvypu, the sources said that only a few companies had suggested it.