Orissa to invite bids for Barunei port

Written by Dilip Bisoi | Bhubaneswar | Updated: May 5 2009, 04:48am hrs
A month after the worlds largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, made a presentation to the Orissa government that it wants to set up a captive port at Barunei near Paradip port, the state government has announced that it wants to select a developer for the Barunei port site through competitive bidding routes.

Thus, ArcelorMittal has to compete with other port developers to bag the port site. The state government had advised ArcelorMittal to go for a multi-user port instead of a captive one, since the captive port would be import-oriented, making it difficult for the government to get railway rakes for one-way traffic. ArcelorMittal has agreed to our proposal and is coming up with a fresh proposal, said a senior government official.

There are already three other port developersSical Logistics Ltd, Adhunik Metallik, SPI Ports, besides the Mittals who are interested in the port site. We will go for a competitive bidding for selecting a developer for the Barunei port site, a senior state government official dealing with port projects told FE. He said the government is soon going to decide whether to go in for an international competitive bidding (ICB) process or allow only the four applicants to participate in the bidding.

The company, which will organise maximum cargo and share maximum revenue with the state government will be awarded the project, the official said.

The state government had opted for the ICB route, selecting an international consortium led by Orissa Stevedores Ltd to develop the Gopalpur port.

The Barunei site is located north of Mahanadi and south of Gahrimatha in Kendrapara district. Barunei, which lies between Paradip Port and Dhamra Port, is in demand because of its strategic location closer to the mineral and industrial hinterland expanding to Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh and West Bengal.

While Sical Logistics has a plan to develop the port along with Jurong Port Ltd of Singapore with an investment of Rs 1,500 crore, the Chennai-based SPI Ports has a proposal to develop a port with an investment of Rs 1,550 crore.

Adhunik Metalliks, which has set up steel plants in Orissa and Jharkhand, is also keen to set up a port at Barunei. The Mittals had proposed to set up a captive port with a capacity of 35 million tonne per annum, mostly for incoming cargo like coking coal and limestone for its steel projects of 12-million tonne capacity each in Orissa and Jharkhand.