Technical and financial bids to be opened on September 5

In a bid to decongest traffic at the main harbour and meet increasing demand from a vast hinterland, Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is going ahead with its proposal to develop a satellite port at the 17 century Dutch township of Bheemunipatnam at an estimated cost of Rs.2,000 crore.

Technical and financial bids submitted by the interested parties will be opened on September 5 to finalise the consultant to conduct Detailed Project Report.

The consultant will be responsible for hydrological, topographical, and other relevant studies, getting clearances, finalising the funding pattern and forming a Special Purpose Vehicle to implement the project if the viability is established.

About a dozen firms, including internationally-acclaimed Scot Wilson, have responded to the global tender.

After issuing the Letter of Award, VPT will give six months to the consultant for submitting a comprehensive report.

VPT Chief Engineer K. Ramachandra Rao told The Hindu that the consultant would study the feasibility for a satellite port as well as a fishing harbour and prepare a blueprint with a harbour layout, funding pattern, and projected traffic for next two decades.

VPT owns 172 acres at Mulakedu near Bheemunipatnam with waterfront area of two km.

The land was allotted to it by the Revenue Department in lieu of 240 acres it surrendered for the expansion of INS Dega Airport.

Visakhapatnam Steel Plant is also planning to construct a captive port at Gangavaram, where there is already a minor port being operated by the D.V.S. Raju-led consortium under Public Private Partnership model.

Premier port

VPT is the country’s second largest public sector port after Kandla. It handled 67.42 million tonnes during 2011-12 as against 68.04 million tonnes last year.

As on August 14, VPT handled a throughput of 21 million tonnes as against 24 million tonnes during corresponding period last year.

By involving private partners under Develop, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer model, VPT board wants to develop it into a most-preferred port of South East Asia and fully automated port within a couple of years to handle 2,00,000 DWT vessels in the Outer Harbour.

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