Our Bureau

Hyderabad, April 15

Intergrax Berhad of Malaysia has joined the Rs 1,700-crore Gangavaram Port project as `technical partner', picking up 20 per cent equity in the consortium led by Mr D.V.S. Raju.

The Malaysian company replaced Dubai Port International that used to provide technical services.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr Raju, Chairman and Managing Director of the port, said Dubai Port International exited in February last.

Mr Raju, his family and friends, owned 51 per cent, while the State Government held 11 per cent. "A well-known US international fund holds the remaining stake," he said.

Refuting allegations that the port did not get environmental clearance, he said the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) gave the clearance in March 2005.

On security concerns, he added that the project had got the Defence clearance, too, from the Ministry of Defence in July 2003. A panel had been set up to periodically review the security issues.

Project milestones

Mr Raju said despite loss of work for some days, the project was progressing on schedule. "But any delay, at this point of time, would adversely impact the progress. The construction of berths should be completed before the onset of the monsoon. A delay of 10 days, at this juncture, could possibly delay the project by eight months," he said.

The company hoped that the port would be operational by December 2007.

The Master Plan provided for 29 berths. "It is an open ended project with a total capacity of 200 million tonnes a year. The design has kept in mind the needs of the next 100 years," he said.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 16, 2006)
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