Maersk awaits approval of Nehru port bid

Maersk awaits approval of Nehru port bid

A. P. Moeller-Maersk has bid an undisclosed amount for an Indian shipping port, the company said on Thursday, amid political resistance in India to foreign ownership of such facilities.

Maersk, of Copenhagen, said it had been informed by the Indian authorities that its bid for Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), within an area supporting the Indian navy's biggest missile torpedo and ammunition storage facility, was the highest. The company is awaiting official approval.

Maersk, which has shipping operations in India, said the bid for JNPT had been placed together with local joint-venture partner Concor under the name of Maersk-Concor.

The state-owned port in the western state of Maharashtra is part of a controversial privatization process being conducted by the Indian government.

Indian media, which have valued the port at 10 billion Indian rupees ($228.6 million), said the Indian Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had warned that having a foreign company in a militarily sensitive area was of grave security concern.

The NCP is a junior partner in the ruling Congress-led coalition in Maharashtra.