Mormugao Port Trust to come out with fresh tender for dredging project

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Mumbai | April 8, 2015 1:13 AM

The project’s cost has also been brought down from Rs 350 crore to Rs 310 crore

Goa-based Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) will come out with a fresh tender for its much awaited dredging project with a revised cost of Rs 310 crore, now on an annuity basis, scrapping the earlier process.

Cyril George, chairman, told FE that after a suggestion from the department of economic affairs, the port has decided to give out the project on annuity basis, which would lead to more revenue coming into its kitty.

“The private player will be responsible for dredging the channel and then maintaining it for 15 years. Since it is a long duration project, the government felt that the benefit of increase in revenues should accrue more to the port and so it was suggested that the project be bid out on annuity basis,” George said.

The project involves deepening the draft of MPT’s navigation channel from the existing 14.5 metres to 19.5 metres, which would enable the port to service large cape size ships of 1,75,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage). At present, MPT can handle only 75,000 tonne vessels.

Earlier, MPT had floated a request for qualification (RFQ) for the project and Adani Ports, JSW, and Mercator were said to have expressed interest in the project. However, now with change in the structure of bidding, a new tender will be floated for the same. “We have a board meeting on Wednesday to take approval for the project. After fulfilling all formalities, we plan to bid out the project by July,” George said.

According to him, the project cost has also been brought down from Rs 350 crore to Rs 310 crore, in line with the cost incurred on dredging by ports in India in the last two years. “Keeping in mind the dredging cost incurred by other ports in India in two years and also some changes proposed by consultants on the technical front, we will save Rs 40 crore on the project cost now,” he said.

It would lead to additional revenue of upto $8 per tonne for the port, George added. Once the dredging is complete, the port has estimated to handle 12 million tonne of traffic of cape size vessels, with 5% increase annually.

Among other key projects, MPT is in the process of floating a Rs 520 crore tender on PPP basis for conversion of mechanical iron ore handling berth to general cargo handling. According to the plan, the existing facility will be divided into three berths capable of handling 9.5 million tonne per annum. It will also have a backup area of 60 acre.

“After SC’s ban on iron ore mining, cargo handling of the commodity has come down significantly for the port. So, to optimise that free space, we are converting the existing berth,” George said. The port has set 2016 as the year for implementation of the project.

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