Welspun Group’s bid for Vizhinjam Port to be Opened on Monday

The Kerala state government will open the bid submitted by the consortium led by Welspun group on Monday to decide the operator for the country’s deepest port, when operational.

“The bids will be opened on Monday and the International Finance corporation will ascertain the bid. Then it would be sent to the empowered committee for final approval”, said a senior officials of the port.

Welspun is the lone bidder for the project after Adani ports were rejected security clearance by the home ministry in January. In recent times, the cost of developing the port rose by as much as 60% due to escalating land and infrastructure costs.

The port, planned as a container transshipment hub with a capacity to handle 4.1 million TEUs a year, will be built on the landlord model, where the state government will set up the infrastructure and invite an operator to run the port.

While the Kerala government will raise Rs 800 crore through a bond issue, developer VizhinjamInternational has engaged SBI Caps to mop up Rs 800 crore from leading financial institutions such as HUDCO and LIC.

Besides, a consortium led by State Bank of Travancore will bring in Rs 300 crore while the state government has allowed a budgetary allocation of Rs 250 crore every year.

Until 2010, the state government made two unsuccessful attempts to develop the port and bids were invited for developing the entire port project.

In 2006, a consortium of infrastructure firms led by Mumbai-based Zoom developers and three Chinese companies were picked by the state to develop the port.

While the central government rejected Zoom’s bid on security grounds, the state government later appointed Hyderabad-based Lanco Infratech to develop the port, but it withdrew from the project after Zoom filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging the decision.

News Sourced from “The Economic Times” & “Mathrubhumi”

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