The Karnataka government plans to develop two greenfield multi-commodity ports on the west coast at Tadadi near Karwar and Haldipur between Honnavar and Bhatkal. The state has ordered for a detailed project report (DPR) to be prepared for both ports. The DPR for Haldipur Port is expected to be ready by September this year, a senior state government official said.
“We will take up the Haldipur port on a Swiss Challenge method and the Tadadi port on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. Both ports, once completed, will create a 52 million tonne capacity,” V Madhu, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development Department, government of Karnataka told Business Standard.
While the investment required for Haldipur port is yet to be ascertained, the Tadadi port is likely to see an investment of Rs 2,969 crore. The Tadadi port will have a capacity to handle 34 million tonnes per annum and Haldipur, another 18 million tonnes per annum, he said.
He said Mineral Enterprises Ltd (MEL), a Bangalore-based iron ore exporter, has proposed to develop Haldipur port on the Swiss challenge model.
Swiss Challenge System is a bidding process to help private initiative in core sector projects where an offer by the original proponent tries to prove his process to be best as a result of his own innovative approach.
“We have asked MEL to prepare the detailed project report. Once they complete the DPR we will go in for the tendering process. If any other company improves on their offer by more than 15 per cent, we will then go with the new bidder or else it will be handed over to MEL,” Madhu said.
MEL wants time till September to prepare the DPR. Once it is done, we will study the technical details and call for a bid. We will follow the same tendering process. They want to develop a port with a capacity of 18 million tonnes. This will be our port and we will go by the state’s port policy. This will be developed on the PPP model. It will be for multi-commodity port, which can accommodate Panamax vessels. Panamax cargo ship would typically have a dead weight tonnage of 65,000-80,000 tonnes and a maximum cargo intake of 52,500 tonnes. The port will have a draft of 18 metres.
Madhu said, the government was in the process of appointing a technical consultant to prepare the detailed project report. Expressions of interest have been floated for appointing a consultant. The technical consultant would normally take about six months to prepare the DPR, he said.
The construction of ports would take another four years from the date of awarding the contract, he said adding the government will also have to take clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forests, and the home ministry before starting the project.
The Tadadi port is expected to support the new gas-based power project being set up by the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) at Tadadi.
Presently, Karnataka has one major port, at Mangalore, with capacity to handle 38 million tonnes cargo per annum. However, it has already reached 36 million tonnes. The state operates another port at Karwar with the capacity to handle about 15 million tonnes and there is not much land available to expand it further.
“We have other minor ports that can handle about 9 million tonnes. But our requirement for import and export of cargo is increasing rapidly. In the next 10 years, we will handle 35 million tonnes of steel. We need to handle coking coal and limestone for the steel plants. In the next 10 years we need to have a port capacity of 114 million tones per annum,” Madhu detailed.