Two out of the seven eligible bidders have evinced interest in developing the Rs.3,686-crore mega container terminal, north of the Bharti dock, at the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT).

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and a consortium of Essar Ports Ltd and Vadinar Oil Terminal Ltd have submitted their bids for the deep water container terminal.

They will be opened soon, it was announced on Thursday.

Talking to The Hindu , ChPT chairman Atulya Misra said: “We have received two bids for the Mega Container Terminal project. The project will be offered to the highest bidder. We will be sending the proposal of Essar Ports to the Centre to obtain security clearance as there is a change in shareholding pattern. As far as Adani Ports is concerned, there is only a change in the company's name, whereas the board of directors are same. Till that time, we will keep both the bids in a sealed cover.”

As per the proposal, the mega container terminal will have a capacity to handle four million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (teus) per annum. It will be constructed on ‘build, own and transfer' basis for a lease/concession period of 30 years and the private operator will invest Rs.3,125 crore on berth and breakwater construction, reclamation of backup area, handling equipment and other landside infrastructure.

The bidder has to construct 4.5 km of breakwater, 2 km of quay length and convert the water front into 225 acres of land.

On its part, ChPT will spend Rs.561 crore for purchasing tugs, floating crafts, dredging and navigational aids.

Interestingly, Adani Ports is bidding for the second time. In the first round, as a sole bidder, Adani agreed to share five per cent of revenue with the ChPT.

It was rejected by the port authorities on the ground that it was too low, unacceptable and unviable. To make it a viable proposition, ChPT invited all the seven eligible bidders for negotiation/clarification.

Apart from the infrastructure wing of IL&FS, almost all the remaining bidders – L&T, DP World, Navayuga, Adani Ports, Essar Ports, Lanco and GVK – took part in the pre-bid meet.

They were given time till March 8 to submit their bids. ChPT has set 2018 as overall project completion date.

A senior official said :“It is interesting to note that more number of bidders took part in the latest round of bidding as against one in the previous round. We hope the project to kick off at the earliest.”

  • Project will be offered to highest bidder: ChPT chairman

  • Terminal to be constructed on ‘build, own, transfer' basis