Adani Group moves court against denial of security nod

N. K. Kurup Mumbai | Updated on May 20, 2011 Published on May 20, 2011

Ships unloading containers at one of the terminals at Jawaharlal Nehru Port. The just concluded fiscal, the three terminals at the port handled a total of 4.2 million TEUs, which is five per cent more than last year’s throughput. The port has been handling more than its designed capacity. Its plan to set up a fourth container terminal is delayed due to legal issues. Photo: Paul Noronha   -  Business Line

Adani Enterprises, one of the parties bidding for the fourth container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port, has gone to court challenging the government decision to deny it security clearance.

An Adani group spokesperson said that the company filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court last week against the government decision. The writ is expected to come up for admission on June 7.

However, he said he was unaware of the grounds on which the government took the decision. The security clearance is a pre-condition for awarding the project and since Adanis could not get the clearance, it could be disqualified, said an official.

Adanis is among the three parties which have already submitted the bid for the Rs 7,000-crore terminal which will have the capacity to handle 4.8 million TEUs annually. Adani Enterprises owns the majority stake inMundra Port in Gujarat, the largest private port in the country. The group, the leading importer of coal in India, early this month had announced acquisition of a coal handling terminal in Australia for $ 1.98 billion.

Delay in 4th terminal

The Adanis going to court could further delay the tendering for the fourth terminal which was already delayed due to another case. It was only last week, after several months, that the Supreme Court had delivered its order in a case filed by AP Moller Group, challenging JNPT's decision not to allow it to bid for the fourth terminal since it is already running a terminal at the same port. The court has ruled that AP Moller Group be allowed to participate in the bid.

Gateway Terminals India, a joint venture between APM Terminals and Concor, operates the third container terminal at JN Port. A JNPT official said since they have not obtained any stay, the port can go ahead with the tendering process. “We expect the court to dispose of the case soon, “said the official.

The fourth terminal is crucial to JN Port as the existing terminals are operating at more than 100 per cent capacity. This is not an ideal situation as it could put huge pressure on men and machinery at the port. Ideally port terminals should work at 70 per cent capacity.

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Published on May 20, 2011
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