Two companies, Welspun Consortium and Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone (MPSEZ), have submitted bids to be a partner in developing and operating the Vizhinjam international seaport near Thiruvananthapuram. After opening the financial bids, the government will select the private partner for the project.
Although the state government had extended the time for submitting the bid, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) did not submit the bid. Earlier, SCI had shown interest in the project, leading the government to extend the last date to August 16.
Fourteen companies expressed interest in the project and 12 were selected to submit the technical and financial bids. Ahemadabad-based MPSEZ, an Adani group company, runs Mundra port, the largest private sector port in the country. Welspun, a Mumbai-based company is a consortium of Welspun Infratech, Welspun Corporation and Leighton Welspun Contractors.
The Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport is proposed to follow landlord port model, where dredging, reclamation and basic infrastructure like construction of break-water and quay will be done by Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited, a fully owned by the government company.
The operation of the port will be on PPP model. The terminal superstructure will be built by private operator who will also operate and maintain it for 30 years. The port will have a quay length of 2,000 meters in three phases. It will be designed to cater primarily for container transhipments besides multi-purpose and break bulk cargo.
The port development along with the external infrastructure work is envisaged to be carried out in phases with the cumulative cost estimated to be around Rs 6,595 crore.
The construction of basic civil infrastructure namely dredging, land reclamation, construction of breakwaters and quay wall, as also land acquisition, road and rail connectivity and other external infrastructure required in phase I is estimated to cost Rs 3,040 crore.
The project would be funded through Rs 1,130 crore as equity from the state government and the balance is to be raised as debt through loans from banks / institutions and through bonds.