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Essar Ports gains on buzz it may win Chennai port project

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Meanwhile, the Sensex was up 42.68 points, or 0.22%, to 19,297.77.

On BSE, 6,558 shares were traded in the counter as against an average daily volume of 1.55 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

The stock hit a high of Rs 100 and a low of Rs 97 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 106.75 on 22 October 2012. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 49.60 on 2 January 2012.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 24 December 2012, rising 2.27% compared with the Sensex's 4.04% rise. The scrip had, however, outperformed the market in past one quarter, rising 10.06% as against Sensex's 3.12% rise.

The mid-cap company has an equity capital of Rs 410.46 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

According to reports, another bidder, Adani Ports, had also shown interest in the Rs 3683-crore project, but did not get a security clearance.

Reports suggested that Essar Ports had offered a revenue share of 5.25%, five per cent higher than Adani Ports' bid. Reports added the share was too low, and the port was considering asking Essar Ports to increase it.

As per reports, Essar and Adani were the two final contenders, while seven companies had made it to the qualification round for the project, which will have a capacity to handle four million 20 foot equivalent units yearly. Of the total project cost, Chennai Port Trust's share will be Rs 561 crore, while the private partner, which will build, own and transfer the project, will invest Rs 3125 crore.

If the company gets the container terminal project at Chennai, this will be its first such project.

Meanwhile, Essar Ports announced on Saturday, 22 December 2012, that it has commissioned a 16 million metric tons per annum dry bulk terminal at Paradip Port.

Paradip Port Trust has granted a license to operate the terminal till 2020 with a provision to extend the license period by further five years. It is an all weather terminal with a capability to handle large size ships, Essar Ports said. The terminal is connected to the stockyard by a 9 km long conveyor system having a capacity of 5,000 tons per hour. The stock yard has been equipped with 2 Reclaimers with a capacity of 2,500 tons per hour each, Essar Ports said in a statement.

Essar Ports said that with the commissioning of its 16 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA) dry bulk terminal at Paradip, the aggregate handling capacity of the company has reached 104 MMTPA.

Essar Ports' consolidated net profit jumped 97.2% to Rs 80.53 crore on 25.6% growth in net sales to Rs 343.98 crore in Q2 September 2012 over Q2 September 2011.

Essar Ports is one of the largest port companies of India, with a current capacity of 104 MMTPA. The capacity is being expanded to 158 MMTPA over the next few years. Apart from the Paradip Terminal, Essar Ports has two operational ports at Hazira and Vadinar. The Hazira port is an all-weather, deep-draft port with 30 MMTPA of dry bulk and break bulk cargo handling capacity. Vadinar is also an all-weather, deep-draft port with 58 MMTPA of liquid cargo handling capacity. Essar Ports is currently developing one terminal at Paradip which will be a coal berth of 14 MMTPA. The company is also setting up a dry bulk terminal at Salaya with a capacity of 20 MMTPA. Additionally, the company plans to expand its Hazira port capacity by 20 MMTPA, taking its capacity to 50 MMTPA.

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