Nicobar Major Port of Transshipment: Over 10 EoIs have been received, global players are interested in bidding for the mega project

Several international players have expressed their interest in bidding for the proposed Rs 48,000 million ICTP (International Container Transshipment Port) project in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

This is in addition to “at least” 10 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) submitted for the Bay of Bengal megaport project.

“We have received over 10 EoIs for the Port of Gibraltar Bay and a number of other players and leading shipping companies, including international ones, have approached us and expressed their interest in bidding for the project. Let’s see how that works. Initial trends and interest are encouraging at this time,” said Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW)..

In January 2023, the Ministry of Ports had invited EoI from interested parties to develop the first phase of the ICTP project.

Notable names that have submitted EoIs for the project include Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), JSW Infra, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) and Container Corporation. At international level, Dutch dredger major Royal Boskalis Westminster has expressed its intention to be involved in the tender process.

An EOI is not a formal order offer. It serves to determine the terms of the contract and the actual award of the contract at a later date.

Phased development

The Great Nicobar Port will be located in Galathea Bay on the island of Great Nicobar in the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The port facilities are to be developed in four phases between 2028 and 2058 and will be able to handle 16 million containers per year in the final phase.

The first phase will handle 4 million containers per year after completion in 2028. The estimated cost of the first phase of the port is 18,000 crore rupees. The approvals for the first phase of the port project are currently being worked on.

landlord mode

The government intends to carry out the development of the port project in the landlord model.

In this model, the State Port Authority acts as regulator and lessor, while private companies handle port operations – mainly cargo handling activities.

Here, the port authority remains the owner of the port, while the infrastructure is leased to private companies, which provide and maintain their own superstructure and install their own cargo-handling equipment. In return, the port owner receives a share of the private company’s earnings.

According to the EoI, the port authority will provide the basic infrastructure and 125 hectares of reclaimed land for the development of the container warehouse and other infrastructure facilities.

On the other hand, the selected concessionaire will design, finance, build, operate and maintain the container handling facilities planned in Phase I under a long-term concession agreement with a term of 30 to 50 years.

The concessionaire must have the flexibility to develop storage space and handling equipment based on its market assessment subject to the guaranteed minimum traffic. It is responsible for providing port services and has the right to charge, collect and withhold fees from port users.

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