New Year may usher in good news on containerisation front for Visakhapatnam Port with revised plans in place to finalise bids for extension of the existing container terminal at a cost of Rs. 633 crore.

After scrapping the Letter of Award issued to Visakha Container Terminal Private Limited to extend existing terminal following serious differences over sharing of revenue, the board of trustee of the port decided at its recent meeting to issue Request for Proposals (RFP) among seven firms who were declared qualified.

The port authorities began selling bid documents on September 18. As per the time-table, the last date for receiving queries is October 17. The bids will be opened on November 11. The Letter of Award will be issued within 30 days of bid due date. The construction will be completed within 24 months. VCTPL was the lone bidder which had submitted the price bid whereas others declared qualified, Adani, Simplex Infrastructure, NEC, Gangavaram Port Limited, Welspun & Leighton and Gammon India, did not respond. As per the board decision, all seven were being invited to take part in the process after revising the basic tariff.

BOT basis

VCTPL developed the Greenfield terminal in June 2003 under BOT basis. It is promoted by DP World and United Liner Agencies. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the extension with massive investment on April 2 after obtaining clearances from various ministries.

At the two-day East Coast Maritime Business Summit held here sometime ago, several logistic experts exuded the confidence that once the terminal was extended, Visakhapatnam would emerge as a transhipment hub preventing diversion of high-value cargo to Colombo and Singapore.

Visakhapatnam Port, which is on expansion mode, is investing Rs.4,500 crore to enhance its capacity from the existing 65 million tonnes to 110 by 2015-16.

The port is also planning to invest Rs.2,000 crore on developing a satellite port near Bheemunipatnam and will have 89 per cent equity in the Greenfield major port coming up at Durgarajupatnam in Nellore district.

First phase

The first phase of the major port will have four berths developed at a cost of Rs.4,000 crore.

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