To make it attractive for companies to take part

To make it attractive for participating firms to take part in the container terminal project, Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) will go in for three quays of around 700 metres each instead of two 1,000-metre quays.

A majority of 11 bidders, who had submitted their expression of interest (EOI) recently, opined that splitting the project into three parts would make it easier and attractive for them to take part in it, given the current global scenario.

As a result, the total quay length would be 2,100 metres if divided into three instead of 2,000 metres when there are only two.

It may be recalled that EPL’s earlier attempt to construct the project went off track during October 2012 with the lone concessionaire withdrawing from the project citing it as unviable.

In January, EPL again invited global firms to submit their EOI and 11 players responded to it. Last week, EPL board of directors gave their nod for appointing a consultant to work out the project cost, to study the feasibility report and lay down the parameters for selecting the right partners.

The tender for choosing the consultant will be opened on March 11.

As per the proposal, the container terminal is to be developed in phases through public-private-partnership model on built-operate-transfer basis for a concession period of 30 years.

Talking to The Hindu, EPL Chairman-cum-Managing Director, M.A. Bhaskarachar said: “We will soon issue Request for Qualification (RFQ). The interested parties have to take part in it by giving their proposals in proper form and also by paying Earnest Minimum Deposit to get qualified. Thereafter, pre-bid meeting will be held with the qualified bidders, followed by issue of Request for Proposal to the highest bidder.”

Mr. Bhaskarachar said they would write to the Centre seeking security clearance of eligible parties in advance to avoid further delay in awarding the project.

“It would take at least three to four years to commence the first phase and we will take a call on the second phase only after five years and that too after studying the trade volume, market potential and the prevailing situation. The length of quay need not be exactly 700 meters, it might vary. However, the board will go according to the Consultant’s advice,” he said.

Surpasses target of 16 million tonnes

On February 28, EPL surpassed its MoU target of 16 million tonnes set by the Centre for the year 2012-13. It is likely to close the year with cargo throughput of 17 million tonnes, says an official release.

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