Three organizations have responded to a request for qualification for the public-private partnership contract to build and operate a new container terminal at India’s Port of Chennai, as the deadline for the first stage of the bidding process ended Oct. 1.
The interested bidders include DP World and PSA International, two of the world’s leading terminal operators, as well as domestic port infrastructure developer Adani Group. The project, on a 30-year operating concession, is estimated to cost $74 million.
The minor terminal is to be built by converting Port of Chennai’s existing liquid bulk facility, called Jawahar Dock, into a container terminal. The existing facility has been mostly idle after government authorities transferred conventional cargo operations to the nearby Ennore Port in 2010. At full construction, the planned terminal will have two berths with a total quay length of about 600 meters (approximately 1,970 feet), offering an annual throughput capacity of 800,000 20-foot-equivalent units.
The port trust will now call for proposals from the firms that have been pre-qualified for the second round of the process, in which the successful contractor will be selected. The winning operator will be required to complete the entire construction work, including installation of service equipment, in two years.
The port already has two container facilities – DP World-managed Chennai Container Terminal and the Chennai International Terminal operated by Singapore-based PSA – with a combined capacity of 2.2 million TEUs. It is now looking at restructuring its much-hyped “4 million-TEU mega terminal” after two earlier attempts to develop the project with private funds collapsed following lukewarm interest from potential investors.