Sole bidder for developing a cement terminal for Azhikkal port has apparently backed out of the project.

A fresh meeting of the prospective bidders willing to participate in the global tender floated by the State government for developing a cement terminal as part of the development of the Azhikkal port here will be held in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, as the sole bidder has apparently backed out.

According to port officials here, the meeting being held at Mascot Hotel in the capital will seek the opinion of the companies on the feasibility and cost of the project.

The meeting is being held in the wake of the reported backing out of the Mumbai-based ABG Group. Apart from the tenders for developing the cement terminal, the government had floated tenders for a multi-purpose terminal for handling general cargo as part of developing the port through public-private- partnership mode.

The total estimated project cost is Rs.150 crore. The port has been envisaged to be developed on design, build, operate and transfer basis. A total 85 acres of land has been earmarked for the development of the river-based port. According to the project, 65 acres will be made available for the multi-purpose terminal and 20 acres for the cement terminal. Several companies had shown keen interest in the project at the pre-bid meeting held here on March 3 last.

Azhikkode MLA K.M. Shaji, who has shown interest in getting the port development project in his constituency to set sail, said that though the ABG Group had apparently backed out, another group had expressed interest in the project. He said the July 5 meeting would pave the way for expediting the project.

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