Kolkata Port Trust began scouting for infrastructure players for developing a Rs 1,500-crore 1.2-million-TEU container terminal at Diamond Harbour here even before a feasibility report was ready.
Result: three months since the tender was floated, the last date for filing applications has been extended twice. The latest extension came into effect today. The new deadline is now February 28. In October, the port authorities invited pre-bid tenders from infrastructure majors across the world for developing the terminal closer to the river mouth at Diamond Harbour. Called request for qualification (RFQ), such a pre-bid exercise is aimed at lining up suitable contractors to pave way for a focused project tendering.
But the exercise has little value if the port does not have a detailed project plan, especially with regard to infrastructure projects requiring long-term commitment from both parties.
The Port Trust, however, proved to have followed a different model. According to industry sources, the port authorities are yet to firm up the feasibility plan, being prepared by Consulting Engineering Services. According to the revised notification, the Port Trust will make a shortlist of the interested bidders on March 15.
The authorities didn’t comment on the feasibility report. According to a senior port official, the deadline was changed to suit prospective bidders.
“We want larger presence of the interested private bidders for the project. So, we have extended the deadline for RFQ application submission by three more weeks. Besides, appointment of a financial consultant is still due. It should happen by third week of this month,” a senior Port Trust official involved with the project told Business Line.
Earlier, a number of infrastructure majors expressed initial interest in the project. Among the companies present in the pre-bid meeting were International Container Terminal Services Inc, APM Terminals Asia-Pacific Region, DP World India Pvt. Ltd, Concast Infratech Ltd with consortium partner Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd, SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd with Spain-based consortium partner OHL Construction, and IL&FS Maritime Infrastructure Company Ltd.