Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, India’s largest private port infrastructure developer, is poised to win the public-private partnership contract to build and operate a new container terminal at Ennore Port, a major state-owned cargo hub near Chennai.
Port sources said Adani emerged as the top bidder for the 30-year concession, quoting a 37 percent share of revenue as annual royalty to the landlord port. Hindustan Ports, the local arm of global terminal operator DP World, was the only other final bidder; it offered a revenue share of about 27 percent.
An official announcement is expected shortly.
The Indian federal government’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs last week approved the proposal of the Ministry of Shipping for construction of a new container terminal at Ennore Port via a PPP scheme.
Plans call for a two-phase development, comprising a 400-meter (1,312-foot) quay in Phase I and a berth length of 330 meters (1,083 feet) in Phase II, with an annual capacity of 1.4 million 20-foot-equivalent units when fully built out. The long-delayed project, the first container-handling facility at Ennore, is estimated to cost Rs. 1,270 crore (approximately $203 million).
The port authority had been working since 2007 to attract a private investor for the build-operate-transfer project, which is designed to handle deep-draft ships with capacities up to 14,500 TEUs. Ennore’s previous tender, which encountered considerable procedural delays, fell through in September 2012 when a consortium led by Grup Maritim TCB, a Spanish port terminal operator, pulled its winning bid, apparently over funding issues.
Ennore, about 15 miles north of Chennai, currently operates three bulk cargo berths, with a total capacity of 23 million tons a year. The southeastern port handled 18 million tons of cargo in fiscal year 2012-13, which ended March 31, 2013, up from 15 million tons in 2011-12.