Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, JSW Infrastructure Ltd, Dutch dredging company Royal Boskalis Westminster NV, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, Container Corporation of India Ltd and Essar Ports Ltd are among ten companies that have received an expression of interest in the development and operation of a international container terminal in Galathea Bay on the island of Great Nicobar.
Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd, Navayuga Engineering Co Ltd, Vishwa Samudra Holdings Pvt Ltd and PDP International Pvt Ltd have also submitted EoIs for the project, according to government sources.
Certainly, the EoI is not a formal tender to select an investor to build and operate the first phase of the box terminal, but rather an exercise conducted by the government to solicit suggestions from interested parties on how to implement the project.
The EoI aims to finalize the project structure and the qualification criteria after comments from the interested applicants. Based on the answers received, Qualification Requirements (RFQ)/Proposal Requirements (RFP) and draft Concession Agreement for tendering purposes are prepared.
The proposed container hub is strategically located on the trade route midway between existing transshipment terminals (Singapore, Klang and Colombo) and feeder ports, with a natural water depth of over 20 meters to handle large container ships and also has the potential to accommodate transhipment cargo from the ports of the Indian east coast, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Great Nicobar Island is just 40 nautical miles from the Straits of Malacca, an international shipping channel through which approximately 35 percent of annual global maritime trade flows.
Economic economies of scale in container shipping have led to rapid growth in the size of all types of vessels, from feeders to the major intercontinental carriers. The proposed port will be designed to handle vessels capable of transporting up to 28,840 twenty-foot units (TEU).
“The proposed transhipment port, with its deep draft, additional capacity and greater efficiency, will offer shipping companies an alternative container handling option. In addition, the proposed infrastructure facilities must be such that the level of service and facilities are consistent with those of the world’s leading container handling terminals and neighboring ports,” said a government official.
The government-owned Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata and Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation Ltd (ANIIDCO) will manage the port on the lessor model, where the common/basic infrastructure will be built by the government, while cargo-handling activities will run up to 50 years outsourced to specialists in this field.
The private operator is free to set tariffs based on market forces.
Source: ET Infra